Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr P Slater
Decision date
7 August 2008
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 Section 1(2)
Excluded fields (allowed)
Related Decisions


The application relates to vehicle navigation systems, more commonly known as Satellite navigation systems, which use signals from the Global Positioning System (GPS) to locate the vehicle and present maps and instructions to the driver via dashboard mounted displays, text and audio messages. In particular, the invention relates to the generation and display of information and messages, in an appropriate format and via an appropriate medium, for guiding the driver to their desired destination.

The system as described is able to compile information from a variety of sources including information from one or more sensors associated with the vehicle, for example, a speed sensor or a fuel level sensor, information regarding the proposed destination, road conditions and weather etc. together with any personal preferences set by the user. This information is then used to generate a message specification which controls the display of information to the driver including the selection of appropriate maps, text and voice prompts. The idea being to present the driver with relevant information in the most appropriate format and media available given a particular set of conditions. For example, should the speed sensor indicate that the vehicle is being driven at high speed, the information presented via the map may be reduced to avoid distracting the driver. Furthermore, the system is able to prioritise messages so that those with a higher priority are either overlayed onto existing media e.g. maps, or interrupt any existing text or voice messages. For example, if it is desired to output a voice message having a low priority when there is already a voice message being broadcast, the new message may be converted into a text message.

Applying the Aerotel test, the hearing officer held that subject to some clarifying amendments, the claims were not excluded under section 1(2) and remitted the application to the examiner for further consideration as to novelty and inventive step.

Full decision O/224/08 PDF document43Kb