BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr H Jones
Decision date
20 September 2016
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Cloudera, Inc.
Provisions discussed
Section 1(2)(c)
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The application relates to a system (particularly Apache Hadoop) and method for performing data queries in a distributed computing cluster comprising a set of computers connected to each other across a network. The system is said to have some of the flexibility of known schema-on-read systems and some speed benefits of known-schema-on write systems.

The examiner concluded that the invention does not meet the requirements of section 1(2) on the grounds of the actual contribution being a computer program.

The hearing officer applied and referenced Symbian, Aerotel/Macrossan, Astron Clinica, Halliburton, AT&T, Gemstar/Virgin, Gale’s application and HTC/Apple. He refused the application under Section 18(3) finding that the contribution lay in a computer program which is excluded under Section 1(2)(c) and in particular:

· the technical effect resides in the way the computer program operates on data files and is not concerned with internal workings of processors or how various elements of a computer system interact with each other

· the computer itself does not run faster and operates conventionally

· the invention does not solve a technical problem within the computer and seems to reside in personal choice rather than a process that provides a solution to a technical problem

· this case and that of Symbian can be distinguished on their facts

· the IPO is bound by UK law

Full decision O/440/16 PDF document95Kb

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