Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr R C Kennell
Decision date
25 April 2008
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Con Francis Shivnen
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 Section 1(2)
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


A computerised system for recording driving test scores as the test progressed was programmed to display a primary menu showing fault categories and, upon selection of a category, to replace it with a secondary menu identifying specific faults within the category. Entry of the fault and its grade of fault restored the primary menu, and the system also displayed a progress indicator for each category of fault. The system could be implemented on a handheld computer using a stylus for data selection and entry. Although the hearing officer accepted that this avoided the problem of using a computer in a moving vehicle, he held that the invention lay in designing a program which could cope with a small screen but did not solve a technical problem in the computer or cause it to operate in a new technical way. Applying the Aerotel test, and considering a method for carrying out a driving test to be a method for doing business, he held the invention to be excluded under the above fields (Symbian Ltd [2008] EWHC 518 distinguished) and refused the application.

Full decision O/120/08 PDF document36Kb