Legal Updates

An improved diagnostic tool isn’t necessarily a technical contribution

The UK IPO’s recent refusal of an application by Ventana Medical Systems sheds some light on the nuanced question of what is considered to constitute a technical contribution when applying the Aerotel test for excluded subject matter. Ventana had filed a patent application describing a way of presenting digital images...

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An improved radar system is patentable, even if it is implemented entirely in a computer

In a recent Hearing the UK IPO decided to allow Accipiter Radar Technologies’ patent application. In allowing the case the Hearing Officer overturned a long-standing objection from the examiner who was prepared to reject the case for being no more than a computer program. As we have reported previously, this...

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Abstract Data Analysis is difficult to patent unless some practical applications are included

A recent decision at the UKIPO (BL 0/381/17) demonstrates that applicants should be wary in the way in which they describe and claim inventions that involve data analysis.  In this decision, Agilent Technologies’ patent application was facing a “full-house” of excluded subject matter objections.  The examiner had asserted that their...

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Asda suffers setback for fintech invention

Walmart’s venture into the world of financial services and suffered a setback courtesy of the UKIPO in its recent decision regarding Walmart’s patent application. The US retail goliath applied for patents in relation to its mobile payment invention in the US, Canada, Japan, China and the UK, and was on...

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Getting your IP strategy right: when filing a patent application is not the answer

In a recent UK-IPO hearing, Mr James Powell had his self-drafted patent application refused on the grounds that his invention related to a mathematical method and business method. It was also found that the application lacked sufficient detail and did not disclose the invention clearly and completely enough to be...

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