Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr A Bartlett
Decision date
31 May 2007
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Waters Investments Limited
Provisions discussed
Section 1(1)(b), Section 1(2), Section 76(2)
Added subject matter, Inventive step
Related Decisions


The application involves performing a two-dimensional multi variant statistical analysis on samples subjected to chromatographic and spectrometric analysis techniques through the use of data binning.

The Hearing Officer applied the four step test from the court of Appeal in Aerotel Ltd vs Telco Holdings Ltd (and others). Although the claim contained some steps that could, in isolation, be considered excluded, the Hearing Officer concluded that the claim when viewed as a whole provided a better way of analyzing samples so that significant events in a mass of complex data could be identified more easily. Such a contribution was not felt to reside solely in excluded matter.

Using the Windsurfing test, the Hearing officer found it appropriate to consider the skilled person as a team and that the process of binning would have formed part of the common general knowledge of the skilled person. He went on to conclude that the invention was inventive, with the present application employing a different data processing philosophy to the prior art.

Full decision O/146/07 PDF document55Kb