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Signals Alone Not Patentable

Jim Ruttler, Patent Attorney

Posted Monday, October 6, 2008 by Jim Ruttler

Yesterday, the United States Supreme Court refused to review, and therefore allowed to stand as law, a lower court decision that data signals themselves are not patentable subject matter. While this means that standalone claims directed towards computer signals are not patentable, it would still be possible to claim a computing device operable to output or receive a signal because the latter includes patentable subject matter: a computing device. Accordingly, while inventors should be aware of this new decision, it is still possible through creative claiming to effectively patent the same subject matter.

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