Tag: Alice

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USPTO publishes updated Subject Matter Eligibility in a new revision of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP)
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USPTO Issues Report on Public Views Regarding Subject Matter Eligibility
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Business Method Patents in Australia: Mere Computer Implementation Not Enough

USPTO publishes updated Subject Matter Eligibility in a new revision of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP)

On January 30, 2018, the USPTO quietly published a new revision (Revision 08.2017)[1] to the Ninth Edition of the Manual of Patent Examining Procedure (MPEP).  The revision includes amendments to a number of chapters, including notably the guidance regarding subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101.  This includes changes in Chapter 2105 for living subject matter eligibility and Chapter 2106 for products of nature and software eligibility.  The revision incorporates the contents of previous subject matter eligibility guidance documents that were provided on the “Subject Matter Eligibility” webpage[2] of the USPTO.  Although the MPEP does not have the force of law, unlike the CFR, patent examiners generally tend to follow the guidance provided in the MPEP.  Accordingly, patent applicants dealing with Section 101 rejections should generally be starting with these revised MPEP chambers as a basis when crafting arguments to overcome such rejections.

Revised Chapter 2106 discusses the two-part Alice test[3] including guidance regarding whether an invention falls under one of the statutory categories and whether an invention is directed to a judicial exception for an abstract idea.  Of particular note, chapter 2106.05 provides expansive guidance for determining whether a claim amounts to something “significantly more” than an abstract idea.  These “significantly more” arguments are often the best avenue for overcoming Section 101 rejections.

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USPTO Issues Report on Public Views Regarding Subject Matter Eligibility

On July 25, 2017, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued Patent Eligible Subject Matter: Report on Views and Recommendations From the Public (Report). The Report summarizes public comments on the state of subject matter eligibility law.  Comments came from varied sources including industry, private practice, academia, trade associations, inventors, and small business.

After beginning with an overview of eligibility law in the U.S. and abroad, the Report summarizes the comments supportive and critical of the Supreme Court’s Bilski, Mayo, Myriad, and Alice decisions regarding subject matter eligibility. It polls opinions from the two most-impacted technology sectors, and reviews recommendations on how to move forward.

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Business Method Patents in Australia: Mere Computer Implementation Not Enough

Research Affiliates LLC v Commissioner of Patents [2014] FCAFC 150

On 10 November 2014, the Australian Full Federal Court (Court) held that a method of creating an index of securities using a standard computer was a ‘scheme’, and, hence, not a patentable invention.

The Court applied the Australian High Court test from National Research Development Corporation v Commissioner of Patents (1959) 102 CLR 252 that a patentable invention must produce an “artificially created state of affairs”. The Court said that this test is not satisfied by mechanistic application of artificiality or physical effect, but by understanding the claimed invention as a matter of substance not form. Read More

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