Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mrs S E Chalmers
Decision date
18 September 2007
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Christopher Mark Dale
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 Sections 1(1)(b) and 1(2)
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The application relates to apparatus for playing a game. The apparatus comprises a display area providing a number of game play areas which are arranged in stages. All stages are visible to the player at the same time and each stage is associated with a prize and a winning or losing area is revealed by removing an obscuring means. The stages are arranged such that the chance of losing increases as the player progresses through the stages. On winning a stage, the player can therefore choose to stick at that particular prize level or can decide to continue the game and take a gamble on the outcome of the next stage. The apparatus may be a scratch card, a machine as may be found in amusement arcades or a computer connected to the internet.

The hearing officer applied the four part test set out in the Aerotel and Macrossan judgment, found the invention to be excluded as a method of playing a game and the presentation of information, and refused the application. She also held that the claimed invention was obvious and therefore refused the application as lacking an inventive step.

Full decision O/275/07 PDF document57Kb