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Updated Guidance on Patent Eligible Subject Matter

Jim Ruttler, Patent Attorney

Posted Wednesday, March 25, 2015 by Jim Ruttler

The USPTO released additional examples to aid in determining whether a claim is directed to an unpatentable abstract idea. There is no change to the analysis framework, but the examples provided shed more light on what types of inventions remain protectable under the patent laws. The examples of unpatentable abstract ideas include claims directed toward collecting and combining data, automating the game of bingo, providing a guaranty, and using advertising as a form of currency. It is clear from these examples that subject matter directed towards business type activities is going to receive heightened scrutiny by the Patent Office and the courts. On the other hand, the guidance provided a number of examples of patent eligible subject matter. These include claims directed toward isolating and removing malicious code from electronic messages, generating composite web pages, digital image processing resulting in a computer using less memory and faster computation time, and a GPS system that improves sensitivity of a receiver in weak signal environments. While some of the examples of patent eligible subject matter seem like they aren’t too different from some of the examples of ineligible subject matter, it appears that the distinction is really whether the claims involve a business practice. More details of the claim language and accompanying analysis can be found here:

http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2015/01/27/pto-releases-abstract-idea-hypothetical-examples/id=54260/?utmsource=feedburner&utmmedium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+Ipwatchdog+%28IPWatchdog.com%29

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