Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr A Bartlett
Decision date
8 February 2007
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 section 1(2)(c)
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The application is titled “Systems and methods for providing a trading interface with advanced features”. The claims considered at the hearing were more broadly cast, being directed to a user interface for entering data into an application at a first workstation, where a button or buttons on the display of the first workstation may change function (and potentially identification) according to a change in state of an application at a second workstation. A further independent claim to a means of customizing the assignment of keys was also considered.

The Hearing Officer applied the four step test from the court of Appeal in Aerotel Ltd vs Telco Holdings Ltd (and others) and Macrossan’s application [2006] EWCA Civ 1371. In doing so he found that, as the hardware utilised and it’s arrangement was acknowledged to be known, the contribution lay in the way the interface was programmed to present information and functionality to the use. He further found such a contribution to lie solely in excluded subject matter, being a program for a computer, and as such not patentable. The later claim to a method customizing keys was also felt to provide a contribution in the way the interface was programmed and to again be purely a program for a computer and hence excluded. The application was thus refused.

Full decision O/043/07 PDF document43Kb