Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
GB 0326767.1
Hearing Officer
Mr R C Kennell
Decision date
11 December 2006
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Rockwell Firstpoint Contact
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 section 1(2)
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The application related to the prediction of transaction outcomes based on the monitoring of customer and agent interactions in a customer contact centre, and relied on a the extraction of selected audio attributes which were processed in a "simulator wrapper" which used mathematical methods for mapping relations amongst the attributes and calculating an outcome probability. Following the four-step approach to the assessment of patentability under section 1(2) approved by the Court of Appeal in Aerotel/Macrossan [2006] EWCA Civ 1371, the dispute lay in the second third steps - determining what was the contribution made by the invention and whether it lay wholly within excluded areas. Having regard to the substance of the invention, the hearing officer accepted the examiner’s view that the contribution lay in the simulator wrapper and held it to be excluded as a computer program but not as a mathematical method. He did not accept the applicant’s view that the invention was a novel combination of apparatus features which performed a technical analysis of an interaction and then carried out computational steps using a statistical method, and that it was not therefore about a statistical method or computer program per se.

Full decision O/355/06 PDF document25Kb