Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr B Westerman
Decision date
29 January 2007
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Kabushiki Kaisha Toshiba
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 sections 1(2)(c)
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The application relates to a computer-aided design tool intended for use in designing, for example, nuclear or thermal power plants. A three-dimensional CAD system includes a parts table in spreadsheet format, and an arrangement adjusting unit and a parts editor to change the data stored about the parts using data about sub-parts. The Hearing Officer considered the recent Court of Appeal judgment in Aerotel/Macrossan and decided that the actual contribution made by the invention fell solely within the meaning of a computer program. It was not necessary to consider whether the contribution was technical in nature as set out in the fourth step of the Aerotel/Macrossan test. The application was refused.

Full decision O/031/07 PDF document24Kb