Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr R C Kennell
Decision date
17 October 2007
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Fisher-Rosemount Systems, Inc
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 section 1(2)
Excluded fields (allowed)
Related Decisions


In a control system intended to maintain the necessary functional isolation between process control and safety networks in a process plant, a user workstation was coupled to the networks via a shared communication network so that the user could configure the operation of both the process control and safety systems by assigning modules to elements within the appropriate networks and downloading them via the shared network. Claims were made to both a configuration system and to a process plant including the configuration system, the workstation, and the networks. Following Aerotel/Macrossan [2006] EWCA Civ 1371, the hearing officer found (i) that the contribution of the configuration system claims related solely to a computer program, but (ii) that the contribution of the process plant claims, which included the shared communications network by which the advantages of the invention were obtained, did not relate solely to excluded matter. Contribution (i) having failed the third step of the Aerotel/Macrossan test, it was necessary in the fourth step only to consider whether contribution (ii) was technical in nature; the hearing officer held that it was. He remitted the application for further examination on the basis of the process plant claims.

Full decision O/307/07 PDF document34Kb