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Full Federal Court decision – Commissioner of Patents v Rokt Pte Ltd [2020] FCAFC 86 (21 May 2020)

One of the current tensions in patent law is the extent to which claimed inventions (often business methods) implemented by operation of a computer are subject matter that is capable of being patented. This is another case in that territory reaching appellate level.
This was an appeal from a patents office decision to reject the application for an invention relating to digital advertising systems and methods.
In this case, it was uncontroversial that a scheme is not patentable just because it is implemented by a computer.  In question was whether in this case, the use of the computer did bring about an “artificial state of affairs” and was not a mere tool of implementation.
As the judgment concludes, the Full Court found that the disclosed invention in this patent application was a “marketing scheme”, and “the level of abstraction to which it is expressed demonstrates that it does no more than provide a list of steps to be implemented using computer technology”.
Therefore, it is not a “manner of manufacture” capable of being patented. As such, this is another case following a trend of recent decisions all pointing in that same direction.

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