"The essence of the invention is that by means of posing questions to a user in a number of stages, enough information is gleaned from the user's answers to produce the required documents. Questions posed in the second and subsequent stages are determined from previous answers provided and the user's answers are stored in a database structure. This process is repeated until the user has provided enough information to allow the documents legally required to create the corporate entity to be generated. A number of document templates are also stored and the data processor is configured to merge at least one of these templates with the user's answers to generate the required legal documents. The documents may then be sent in an electronic form to the user for the user to print out and submit, mailed to the user, or submitted to the appropriate registration authority on behalf of the user." The examiner rejected the application and the hearing officer concurred with him, finding that the application was for a computer programme, a business method and a mental act. Macrossan appealed.
* The hearing officer had correctly recognised that any doubt as to patentability had to be resolved in favour of the applicant and had applied this principle to her decision.* The hearing officer had not failed to give her reasons;* Patent hearings are not inter partes proceedings and so the full bias rules do not apply. However, the hearing officer must employ principles of procedural fairness. The applicant has the right to know the points taken against him, but this does not prevent there from being internal Patent Office decisions on the issue of validity. There had been no breach of procedural fairness here and contrary to Macrossan’s submissions, the hearing officer’s decision did not suggest that she had received ‘secret submissions’ from the examiner. Moreover, he had not objected at the time of the hearing and even if he had had a right to object of fairness grounds at the time, any such right was now exhausted;