Merrill Lynch’s Application: CA 1989

The invention in this case was an improved ‘data processing system for making a trading market in at least one security in which the system proprietor is acting as principal.’
Held: More than one exclusion can be in play in relation to the same application. Inventive excluded matter cannot count as a technical advance.

Fox LJ
[1989] RPC 561
Patents Act 1977 1(2)
England and Wales
Appeal fromMerrill Lynch’s Application ChD 1988
The court rejected an application for a patent for, inter alia, a ‘data processing system for making a trading market in at least one security in which the system proprietor is acting as principal’.
Held: Falconer J said: ‘In my judgment, . .
CitedGenentech’s (Human Growth Hormone) Patent ChD 1987
The applicant sought a patent for a hormone: ‘It is trite law that you cannot patent a discovery, but if on the basis of that discovery you can tell people how it can be usefully employed, then a patentable invention may result. This in my view . .

Cited by:
CitedAerotel Ltd v Telco Holdings Ltd and others, In re Patent Application GB 0314464.9 in the name of Neal Macrossan Rev 1 CA 27-Oct-2006
In each case it was said that the requested patent concerned an invention consisting of a computer program, and was not therefore an invention and was unpatentable. In one case a patent had been revoked on being challenged, and in the other, the . .
CitedCappellini and Bloomberg, Re PatC 13-Mar-2007
The applicants appealed rejection of their applications for patents. The comptroller-general had said that patents were in respect of computer programs excluded from registration.
Held: The appeals failed. There was no relevant technical . .
CitedSymbian Ltd v Comptroller General of Patents PatC 18-Mar-2008
The company appealed against rejection of its patent application, the objection being as to the invention’s patentability. The EPO had granted a European Patent. . .
CitedLantana Ltd v The Comptroller General of Patents, Design and Trade Marks CA 13-Nov-2014
The inventor company appealed against rejection of its application for a patent for a computer program.
Held: The appeal failed: ‘on the facts found by the Hearing Officer, the invention is no more than the computerisation of a process which . .

Lists of cited by and citing cases may be incomplete.

Intellectual Property

Leading Case

Updated: 10 November 2021; Ref: scu.245706