Avoiding Patent Death – Draft Smart Claims

Introduction: I continue to closely monitor the case law regarding patenting computer software.  The August 26, 2021 decision of Universal Secure Registry v Apple is an example.  In this decision, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (usual final arbiter of patent disputes) invalided 4 patents as merely claiming abstract ideas.  Abstract ideas are…

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Creep of Patent Eligibility Goulash

Introduction: I have written frequently about the morass of “logic” created by the courts regarding the patent eligibility of computer implemented business methods and software.  This logic pertains to whether the software is an “abstract idea” and therefore not eligible for patent protection.  This is a fluid topic.  It has been termed eligibility goulash by…

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Obviousness Rejections 2021

Introduction: An application for patent is typically rejected by the USPTO examiner after the first examination.  But the USPTO examiner must provide specific written reasons justifying the rejection.  The applicant has the right to respond to the rejection to point out why the examiner is in error or to amend the claims of the application…

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Patenting Computer Software

INTRODUCTION When is software patentable?  Can you obtain a computer software patent?  It is generally understood that it is difficult to obtain patent protection for computer software.  This is a subtopic of the question of when it is possible to patent a method of doing business. There are some guidelines.  This includes guidance for determining…

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Fair Use of Copyrighted Software

    Introduction: At issue is the scope of permitted fair use of copyrighted software.  I have written on the scope of copyright protection and contrasted it with patent coverage.  Copyright does protect an embodiment of an idea, but not the underlying idea.  Ideas are protected by the 20 year term of a patent, and…

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Patent Goulash For Engineers

INTRODUCTION: I wrote an article in October 2019 for mechanical engineers (and others) warning that the Section 101 morass, i.e., Patent Goulash, was not limited to computer software business methods or medical diagnostic procedures.  The long twisted arm of unpatentable “natural law” and “abstract ideas” was extending to patent applications for improved mechanical structures.  See Mechanical Engineering and…

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“Groundbreaking” But Not Patentable?

INTRODUCTION: It is clear abstract ideas are not patentable. However the topic is much more complex. I have written a number of articles regarding the fog shrouded abyss related to patenting computer business methods and medical diagnostic procedures.  The Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (commonly known as the “Federal Circuit”) continue to…

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Patent Classification Review

Introduction Crafting the specification, and particularly the claims, of a patent application can be critical to the chances of ultimate allowance of the application into a legally enforceable patent.  This applies not only to distinguishing your invention over the prior art or confirming that your invention is eligible for patent protection, e.g., not merely an abstract…

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Avoiding the “Un-patentable Abstract Idea”

INTRODUCTION: I have written many times of the ambiguity created by the courts in the Alice and Mayo decisions regarding what is patentable subject matter.  I am today suggesting a method of “avoiding the un-patentable abstract idea”. What I am referring to is the rejection of patentable innovations on the basis that the patent is merely claiming an abstract idea.  An abstract idea…

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When is Computer Software Patentable?

Software is patentable when and if it can meet the following two part test: Does the claim recite (expressly state or inherently infer) that the software pertains to a method of organizing human activity (including satisfying legal obligations), mathematical formulas or mental processes?  If no, then the software claim is patent eligible.  If yes, then go to the second part…

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