Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr A Bartlett
Decision date
24 April 2009
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Nokia Corporation
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 Section 1(2)
Excluded fields (allowed), Support
Related Decisions


The application is concerned with developing the functionality of a mobile phone, particularly the networking functionality (i.e. the network connections) of the phone. In the invention, software applications for mobile phones are developed by connecting a desktop PC to a mobile phone via a network connection. A software developer uses the desktop PC to direct the software development process by inputting commands at the desktop PC which are then transferred to the phone in order to call individual modular software elements stored on the phone. In particular, the software developer uses the desktop PC to compose scripts that are transferred to the phone which execute under the control of a command interpreter and which combine two or more of the software modules resident on the phone.

In applying the Aerotel/Macrossan [2007] R.P.C. 7 test for excluded matter, the Hearing Officer found that the invention does provide a technical contribution, as required by Symbian [2008] EWCA Civ 1066, and that consequently the invention does not fall solely within excluded matter. In particular, it was held that whilst the invention may be implemented in software it overcomes technical problems inherent in the prior art such that it is more than a program for a computer as such. It was also held that the invention did not relate to method for performing a mental act as such.

The Hearing Officer went on to find that the claims considered at the hearing were not supported by the application as filed. The applicant was given an opportunity to amend the application in order for it to comply with the act and rules.

Full decision O/107/09 PDF document693Kb