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Temporary Patent Office Guidelines on Patentable Subject Matter

Jim Ruttler, Patent Attorney

Posted Thursday, September 3, 2009 by Jim Ruttler

The Patent Office has released interim guidelines for determining whether a process defines patentable subject matter. A flow chart outlining the guidelines is provided by the Patently-O blog: Unfortunately, these guidelines are almost certain to change in the coming months when the Supreme Court issues its decision on the standard for determining patentable subject matter in the Bilski case. For the time being, however, these guidelines can help in preparing an application for examination. But, one should also include in the application subject matter that may not currently be patentable in the hopes that that subject matter becomes patentable by the time examination of the application occurs.

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