Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr R C Kennell
Decision date
15 July 2008
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
NEC Corporation
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 Section 1(2)
Excluded fields (allowed)
Related Decisions


The claims related to a method and apparatus for deciding the tilt angle of antennas in radio communication system. The examiner considered that the claims needed to be restricted to actual use in controlling antennas to avoid exclusion as a computer program, but the hearing officer (considering the mathematical method exclusion also) held that on the basis of VICOM (T 208/84), Astron Clinica [2008] RPC 14, Halliburton v Smith [2006] RPC 2 and Institut Francais &c (BL O/201/03) a step of outputting an optimal tilt angle for use in controlling the tilt angle sufficed to tether the claims to a patentable invention. The hearing officer also accepted that a proposed claim to a computer program product for implementing the method would not be open to objection under section 1(2).

Full decision O/202/08 PDF document50Kb