Lantana Limited v Comptroller General of Patents, Design and Trade Marks , England and Wales Court of Appeal (Arden, Kitchin and Gloster LLJ), 13 November 2014, Case No. EWCA Civ 1463
In this judgment the Court of Appeal of England and Wales decided a case regarding a patent application for an invention consisting of a computer program relating to the retrieval of data from a remote computer to a local computer using email.
The Court of Appeal applied existing legal principles - namely the four-stage test set out in Aerotel Ltd v Telco Holdings Ltd; Macrossan’s Patent Application ( EWCA Civ 1371) - and considered the “signposts” summarised in HTC Europe Co Ltd v Apple Inc. ( EWCA Civ 451) to uphold the conclusion reached by the Hearing Officer of the UK Intellectual Property Office and by the English Patents Court (Birss J) that the invention was not patentable as it was excluded subject matter, as a computer program “as such”, under s.1(2) of the Patents Act 1977.
This decision, based on the facts found by the Hearing Officer, was predicated on the grounds that the invention was no more than the computerisation of a process that could already be done without a computer and had no relevant technical effect (i.e. it made no technical contribution to the art which was not excluded matter).