In re Abele

Posted by Anton Hughes on Thursday, June 30, 2005 with No comments
At 907: Walter should be read as requiring no more than that the algorithm be "applied in any manner to physical elements or process steps" provided that its application is circumscribed by more than a field of use limitation or non-essential post-solution activity. Thus if the claim would be "otherwise statutory" id., albeit inoperative or less useful without the algorithm, the claim likewise presents statutory subject matter when the algorithm is included.
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The goal is to answer the question "What did the applicants invent?" If the claimed invention is a mathematical algorithm it is improper subject matter for patent protection, whereas if the claimed invention is an application of an algorithm, s101 will not bar the grant of a patent.