Patent decision

BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr B Buchanan
Decision date
9 October 2012
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Fisher-Rosemount Systems, Inc
Provisions discussed
Patents Act 1977, Section 1(2)
Excluded fields (allowed)
Related Decisions


The invention relates to accessing parameters in a process control system and controlling a process using a parameter value. A universal communication interface enables communication between field devices and other data sources in a process control system. As well as enhancing compatibility between components of the system, the universal interface caches parameter values. This means that in the event of a communications failure between one or more components of the system, when a parameter value cannot be obtained directly, a stored copy of the parameter value can be obtained from the local cache memory and can be used to control the process.

The Hearing Officer considered the four-step test in Aerotel/Macrossan in the light of the Symbian judgment, and the AT&T signposts. He found that although the contribution is implemented by a program for a computer, there is a technical effect on a process outside the computer. The application was not refused under section 1(2) and was referred back to the Examiner.

Full decision O/390/12 PDF document75Kb