Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr S Probert
Decision date
6 September 2006
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Sun Microsystems, Inc.
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 Section 14(5), Section 18(5), Rule 100(2), Section 1(2)(c).
Clarity, Excluded fields (allowed), Extensions of time, Section 20 period
Related Decisions


An environment for a virtual machine configured to execute instructions specified in two different instruction sets, one of which is the conventional Java® Bytecode instruction set and the other is a reduced set of virtual instructions that can nevertheless represent the complete set of operations than can be performed by the JAVA Bytecode instruction set.

The Hearing Officer found that the claims, when interpreted in the light of the description, were clear. He also decided that the claims did not relate to a program for a computer as such, for reasons stated in a related decision (O/057/06). However, he concluded that this application was for the same invention as a related application (GB 2391980) and that the Comptroller should not grant this application as the related application had already been found in order for grant.

The applicant requested the exercise of the Comptroller’s discretion to extend the expired rule 34 period on the grounds that the Office had not made it clear that the double grant objection was still outstanding when the rule 34 period expired. The Hearing Officer agreed, and the period was extended.

Full decision O/252/06 PDF document244Kb