New Patent Test Could Bar Mathematical Algorithms

According to Patently-O, the appeal in question was decided in August but was just now made precedential by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. That means that patent examiners can now utilize the opinion in considering rejections for applications moving forward.

The test examiners will specifically apply reads more narrowly than some of the other coverage I’ve seen suggests. Like the machine or transformation test, here a mathematical algorithm cannot be patented unless it is tied to a practical application and severely limited in scope so as not to apply broadly in all fields or even across the entire breadth of a single field.

Given how the transformation or machine test has already been challenged in oral arguments in the Bilski appeal currently under way, patent lawyers dealing with the field of software patents will no doubt start preparing defensive arguments to try to withstand this new test.

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