IGT v Comptroller General of Patents

The High Court has enforced the current UK position on the exclusions from patentability in the recent case of IGT v Comptroller General of Patents. The exclusions under Article 52(2) of the European Patent Convention include computer programs, business methods, mental acts inventions contrary to public morality etc. The claimant’s patent applications in this case related to the inclusion and operation of bonus games for an online gaming machine. The applications sought to achieve consistency in the allocation of bonus entries to players, and to facilitate games between players, whilst allowing players to control the timing of their playing a bonus game.

The HighCourt applied the four step test set out in Aerotel/ Macrossan

· Construe the claim properly

· Identify the contribution

· Does the contribution fall solely into the excluded subject matter?

· Check whether the contribution is actually technical in nature.

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