BL number
Concerning rights in
Hearing Officer
Mr B Buchanan
Decision date
4 April 2019
Person(s) or Company(s) involved
Gelliner Limited
Provisions discussed
PA 1977 section 1(2)(c)
Excluded fields (refused)
Related Decisions


The invention relates to paying a bill e.g. for a meal at a restaurant by making a bill computer-readable and avoiding the need to transact directly with a Point of Sale (POS) device. The central concept involves analysing a textual representation of a bill from a POS device and augmenting the file to include data representing a non-textual representation (e.g. a 2D matrix barcode or QR code) of some data which is then sent to an output device e.g. for display on a screen. Using a computing device which may be a mobile phone with a scanner (e.g. a camera), a customer scans the output to detect the non-textual representation and decodes it. The computing device then displays the decoded bill information to the user. The user may initiate payment of the bill without having to wait for the POS to become available. Stated advantages of the invention include simplifying bill payment; facilitating splitting the bill and/or partial payment; and avoiding the need for sending payment data direct to the POS device.

The Hearing Officer followed the four-step test set out in Aerotel and applied the AT&T signposts as reformulated in HTC. He concluded that the contribution did not provide the required technical contribution and related solely to a program for a computer and a method for doing business as such. The application was refused.

Full decision O/179/19 PDF document365Kb
Content Reproduced verbatim from the Website of the United Kingdom Intellectual Property Office (UKIPO) as permitted under their Terms of Use.

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