Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
GB0523735.9, GB0802299.8, and GB0802300.4
Hearing Officer
Mr P Thorpe
Decision date
25 February 2011
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Halliburton Energy Services Inc
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 Section 1(2)
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The applications related to methods of designing drill bits used to form wellbores in subterranean formations. The methods sought to optimise various drilling characteristics by using computer simulation of the interaction of the designed drill bit and the formation being cut. The Hearing Officer, following the reasoning in Halliburton Energy Services, Inc. v Smith International (North Sea) Ltd & Ors, found that the claimed inventions in each of these applications, as a matter of substance, related to a scheme for performing a mental act. Two of the applications were also found to be excluded as computer programs. The issue of whether adding a manufacturing step to the claimed inventions would take the applications outside of excluded matter was discussed. All three applications were refused.

Full decision O/080/11 PDF document234Kb