Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr R C Kennell
Decision date
16 January 2008
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Nav Canada
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 Sections 1(1), 1(2)
Excluded fields (allowed), Inventive step
Related Decisions


The invention automated the extraction of operational data in air traffic control (ATC) systems for use in business systems by using stored procedures in an SQL database server located outside a secured ATC system for one-way transfer of data over a secure network (eg including a firewall) from another SQL database forming part of the secured system. Applying the Windsurfing/Pozzoli test for inventive step, the hearing officer held that the skilled person would combine specialist knowledge of ATC data handling systems with advice from a computer programmer or network engineer; such a person would be aware of the possibility of transferring data between SQL databases over secure links, but would not without hindsight regard it as obvious to put an SQL database server into the secured ATC system in the first place. On excluded invention, applying the Aerotel test the hearing officer considered that the contribution of the invention was not a computer program as such, since the insertion of an SQL server into the secured ATC system and its connection to another SQL server outside that area was not solely a matter of computer programming, and was technical in nature. The hearing officer remitted the application for further prosecution.

Full decision O/010/08 PDF document39Kb