Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Dr J Houlihan
Decision date
16 April 2014
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Sainsbury’s Supermarkets Ltd
Provisions discussed
Patents Act 1977 section 1(2)(c)
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The alleged invention relates to a computer system and method for executing a point of sale transaction. In particular, the invention provides a point of sale terminal which is capable of receiving first price data from at least one item purchased by a customer and a server which receives both transaction data from the point of sale terminal and second price data pertaining to comparable competitor items from an update server so that the first and second price data can be compared and a voucher issued based on the comparison. The hearing officer found that the actual contribution of the invention related entirely to a method of doing business which, as it was brought about by a computer program, also related to a computer program, as such. The invention was therefore excluded by section 1(2) and the application was refused.

Full decision O/174/14 PDF document86Kb