Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr H Jones
Decision date
16 April 2010
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Forensic Science Service Limited
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 section 1(2)
Excluded fields (allowed)
Related Decisions


The application relates to a method of modeling a process of analyzing DNA in a biological sample and in then optimising various parameters of the process. The description clearly sets out a context in which the ready availability of biological samples for DNA analysis, for example in the field of forensic science, is very often limited, which means that the degree of optimisation of the chemical process in order to yield any meaningful result is limited. The application describes in detail the modeling assumptions and probability functions used to simulate the complete DNA consideration process, and explains the relationships between various input and output parameters which allow the whole process to be simulated and, more importantly, optimised through the use of a computer program.

The Hearing Officer found that while the claims included steps that could be said to fall within one or more of the categories of excluded matter, the contribution as a whole did not. The contribution was assessed as an improved chemical process for considering a DNA containing sample, which happens to include as a key component a computer model to derive certain parameters for optimizing the chemical process. What the inventors have contributed is not solely a new mathematical method or a computer program for implementing that method, but is the practical application of a mathematical model of an electro-chemical process in order to improve the success rates of the electro-chemical process when conducted in practice. The application was remitted to the examiner for further search and examination.

Full decision O/117/10 PDF document122Kb