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USPTO Asks for Comments on New Interim Guidance on Bilski

Jul 31, 2010, 10:04 (2 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pamela Jones)

"The PTO has just issued new guidance for their examiners on Bilski, Interim Guidance for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility for Process Claims in View of Bilski v. Kappos [PDF] -- on how to follow what they think Bilski held as to what is and isn't patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101.

""A claim to an abstract idea is not a patent-eligible process," Bilski holds, they point out, but exactly where is the line? How do you know an abstract idea when you see it? So the USPTO is asking for public comment on what they came up with for their understanding. They want to hear from the public by September 27, and they provide some specific questions and a list of factors examiners are to consider when evaluating an application.

"You know pro-patent companies' lawyers in droves will be telling them that their clients should be able to patent God's method and process for creating the heavens and the earth, so you may wish to comment yourself and let them know politely where you think the line should be drawn on the abstract idea exception to subject matter eligibility as set forth in Bilski, if this is a topic you care about. Otherwise, I can see it now, their report: We got 3,201 comments saying X and only 3 saying Y, so X carries the day."

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