I have not yet had a chance properly to analyse the Court of Appeal’s decision in Symbian Ltd v Comptroller General of Patents  EWCA Civ 1066 (8 Oc 2008) but it looks to me as though the Court has rowed back a bit since Macrossan  RPC 7,  Info TLR 215,  Bus LR 634,  1 All ER 225,  EWCA Civ 1371 and that English jurisprudence is now closer to that of the EPO Technical Board of Appeal.
“The third stage mandated in Aerotel, which we would have thought normally raises the crucial issue, is whether the alleged contribution is excluded by article 52(2), as limited by art 52(3). So far as we can see, there is no reason, at least in principle, why that test should not amount to the same as that identified in Duns, namely whether the contribution cannot be characterised as “technical”. In effect, this can be said to involve conflating the third and fourth stages in Aerotel, a conflation which is easy to accept bearing in mind that it was said in Aerotel that the fourth stage, while required by Merrill Lynch, was unlikely to add anything to the third stage (a view supported by Kitchin J in Astron Clinica Ltd v Comptroller-General  RPC 14,  and by Patten J in this case at ).”
“(1) Properly construe the claim;
(2) Identify the actual contribution;
(3) Ask whether it falls solely within the excluded subject matter;
(4) Check whether the contribution is actually technical in nature.”
Stage (1) was not in issue. The “actual contribution” was “a program which makes a computer operate on other programs faster than prior art operating programs enabled it to do by virtue of the claimed features”. That did not consist solely of excluded subject matter because it had “the knock-on effect of the computer working better as a matter of practical reality.” (Don’t all applications do that :-)) And that was £technical” on any view of the meaning of the word. On that basis, On that basis Nick Patten had asked the right questions and the appeal against his jusgment was dismissed.