On November 2, 2017, the Canadian Patent Appeal Board (PAB), in decision number 1431 regarding Canadian patent application number 2,440,173, entitled “Tool and Method for Operations, Management, Capacity and Services Business Solution for a Telecommunications Network”, recommended that the application be refused on the basis that the claimed invention is directed to non-statutory subject matter and is obvious.

The claimed invention is, in essence, a computer program for comprehensively calculating network costs. The program calculates network lifecycle costs using industry standard calculations based on actual figures in place of estimates. The patent examiner who examined the application determined that this invention did not qualify as patentable subject matter.

The PAB agreed with the examiner, finding that the invention lacked physicality as required under Canadian examination practice respecting computer-implemented inventions (Practice Notice: PN 2013-03). According to the PAB, “none of the essential elements [of the claimed invention] are considered to define something with a physical existence, or something that manifests a discernible effect or change”. Furthermore, the claimed invention was found to be obvious, as a person skilled in the art would have known to replace cost estimations with actual costs depending on the accuracy required and the amount of computational resources available.

Summary By: Jae Morris


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