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Drafting Software Claims

Jim Ruttler, Patent Attorney

Posted Monday, May 17, 2010 by Jim Ruttler

The Patent Office has been in a state of flux with respect to interpreting claims for patentable subject matter since the Bilski decision. In Bilski, the court held that, in order to be patentable, claims must be directed to subject matter that is tied to a machine or results in a physical transformation. The Patent Office has up to recently been allowing software claims under Bilski so long as the claims recited ‘computer readable storage media’ or the like. However, there has been a new push by the Patent Office to get the machine or physical aspect of the claims more tightly coupled with the steps of the claims. In order to satisfy these new examination standards, the Patent Office has suggested that that steps in the claims specifically be performed by a microprocessor. For example, processing, using a microprocessor, the data received.

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