# Patent Law FAQ

## This FAQ answers all your questions about patent law, patent procedure, and the patent examination process.

#### MPEP 2100 – Patentability (6)

### What is the significance of drawings in proving conception for a patent?

Drawings play a crucial role in proving conception for a patent. The MPEP 2138.04 highlights their importance:

“

A conception must encompass all limitations of the claimed invention” and “is complete only when the idea is so clearly defined in the inventor’s mind that only ordinary skill would be necessary to reduce the invention to practice, without extensive research or experimentation.“

In this context, drawings are significant because:

- They provide a visual representation of the inventor’s mental picture of the invention.
- Detailed drawings can demonstrate that the inventor had a complete conception of all aspects of the invention.
- Drawings can help prove that the invention was “ready for patenting” at the time of conception.
- They can serve as corroborating evidence to support the inventor’s testimony about conception.

The MPEP also notes: “**The inventor’s consideration of all the structural details is not required**,” suggesting that while drawings are important, they don’t need to include every minute detail to prove conception. However, the more comprehensive and clear the drawings are, the stronger the evidence of conception.

To learn more:

Improvements to computer functionality can be a key factor in establishing patent eligibility. According to MPEP 2106.05(a):

“If it is asserted that the invention improves upon conventional functioning of a computer, or upon conventional technology or technological processes, a technical explanation as to how to implement the invention should be present in the specification.”

The MPEP cites several examples of improvements to computer functionality that courts have found to be patent-eligible:

- A modification of conventional Internet hyperlink protocol to dynamically produce a dual-source hybrid webpage (DDR Holdings)
- A specific improvement to the way computers operate (Enfish)
- A particular method of incorporating virus screening into the Internet (Symantec Corp)

However, the MPEP also notes that “the mere fact that a computer may be able to perform the claimed steps more efficiently does not necessarily render an abstract idea less abstract.”

The key is that the improvement must be to the functioning of a computer or other technology, not just an improvement to an abstract idea implemented on a computer.

To learn more:

Mathematical concepts are one of the three main categories of abstract ideas identified in the MPEP. The MPEP states:

“**The mathematical concepts grouping is defined as mathematical relationships, mathematical formulas or equations, and mathematical calculations.**“

When evaluating whether a claim recites a mathematical concept, examiners consider the following:

- Does the claim recite a mathematical relationship, formula, equation, or calculation?
- Is the mathematical concept merely based on or involves a mathematical concept?

The MPEP clarifies: “**A claim does not recite a mathematical concept (i.e., the claim limitations do not fall within the mathematical concept grouping), if it is only based on or involves a mathematical concept.**“

Examples of mathematical concepts considered abstract ideas include:

- A formula for computing an alarm limit (
*Parker v. Flook*) - A method of hedging risk (
*Bilski v. Kappos*) - An algorithm for converting binary-coded decimal numerals into pure binary form (
*Gottschalk v. Benson*)

It’s important to note that a claim is not automatically ineligible just because it involves a mathematical concept. The claim as a whole must be evaluated to determine if it integrates the mathematical concept into a practical application or provides an inventive concept.

To learn more:

The enablement requirement in patent law serves to ensure that the invention is sufficiently described to allow the public to make and use it. As explained in MPEP 2165.02:

**“The enablement requirement looks to placing the subject matter of the claims generally in the possession of the public.”**

This means that the patent application must provide enough information for a person skilled in the relevant field to understand and reproduce the invention without undue experimentation. The enablement requirement is crucial for fulfilling the patent system’s goal of promoting the progress of science and useful arts by ensuring that inventions are fully disclosed in exchange for patent protection.

To learn more:

Subject matter that is disclosed in a parent application but not included in a child continuation-in-part (CIP) cannot be used as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) against the CIP. The MPEP cites a specific case law example:

“In re Lund, 376 F.2d 982, 153 USPQ 625 (CCPA 1967) (The examiner made a pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) rejection over an issued U.S. patent which was a continuation-in-part (CIP). The parent application of the U.S. patent reference contained an example II which was not carried over to the CIP. The court held that the subject matter embodied in the canceled example II could not be relied on as of either parent or child filing date. Thus, the use of example II subject matter to reject the claims under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) was improper.).”

This means that only the content actually present in the CIP can be used as prior art under 102(e), not additional content from the parent application that wasn’t carried over.

To learn more:

MPEP 2114 provides guidance on distinguishing apparatus claims from method claims, particularly when functional language is involved. The manual states:

“While features of an apparatus may be recited either structurally or functionally, claims directed to an apparatus must be distinguished from the prior art in terms of structure rather than function.”

This means that for apparatus claims, the focus should be on the structural elements rather than how the apparatus functions. In contrast, method claims are defined by the steps or actions performed. The MPEP further clarifies:

“The recitation of a new intended use for an old product does not make a claim to that old product patentable.”

This highlights that merely describing a new way to use an existing apparatus doesn’t make it patentable. To be patentable, an apparatus claim must have structural differences from the prior art. If an applicant wants to protect a specific way of using an apparatus, they should consider filing method claims in addition to apparatus claims.

To learn more:

#### MPEP 2106.04(A) – Abstract Ideas (1)

Mathematical concepts are one of the three main categories of abstract ideas identified in the MPEP. The MPEP states:

“**The mathematical concepts grouping is defined as mathematical relationships, mathematical formulas or equations, and mathematical calculations.**“

When evaluating whether a claim recites a mathematical concept, examiners consider the following:

- Does the claim recite a mathematical relationship, formula, equation, or calculation?
- Is the mathematical concept merely based on or involves a mathematical concept?

The MPEP clarifies: “**A claim does not recite a mathematical concept (i.e., the claim limitations do not fall within the mathematical concept grouping), if it is only based on or involves a mathematical concept.**“

Examples of mathematical concepts considered abstract ideas include:

- A formula for computing an alarm limit (
*Parker v. Flook*) - A method of hedging risk (
*Bilski v. Kappos*) - An algorithm for converting binary-coded decimal numerals into pure binary form (
*Gottschalk v. Benson*)

It’s important to note that a claim is not automatically ineligible just because it involves a mathematical concept. The claim as a whole must be evaluated to determine if it integrates the mathematical concept into a practical application or provides an inventive concept.

To learn more:

#### MPEP 2106.05 – Eligibility Step 2B: Whether A Claim Amounts To Significantly More (1)

Improvements to computer functionality can be a key factor in establishing patent eligibility. According to MPEP 2106.05(a):

“If it is asserted that the invention improves upon conventional functioning of a computer, or upon conventional technology or technological processes, a technical explanation as to how to implement the invention should be present in the specification.”

The MPEP cites several examples of improvements to computer functionality that courts have found to be patent-eligible:

- A modification of conventional Internet hyperlink protocol to dynamically produce a dual-source hybrid webpage (DDR Holdings)
- A specific improvement to the way computers operate (Enfish)
- A particular method of incorporating virus screening into the Internet (Symantec Corp)

However, the MPEP also notes that “the mere fact that a computer may be able to perform the claimed steps more efficiently does not necessarily render an abstract idea less abstract.”

The key is that the improvement must be to the functioning of a computer or other technology, not just an improvement to an abstract idea implemented on a computer.

To learn more:

#### MPEP 2114 – Apparatus And Article Claims — Functional Language (1)

MPEP 2114 provides guidance on distinguishing apparatus claims from method claims, particularly when functional language is involved. The manual states:

“While features of an apparatus may be recited either structurally or functionally, claims directed to an apparatus must be distinguished from the prior art in terms of structure rather than function.”

This means that for apparatus claims, the focus should be on the structural elements rather than how the apparatus functions. In contrast, method claims are defined by the steps or actions performed. The MPEP further clarifies:

“The recitation of a new intended use for an old product does not make a claim to that old product patentable.”

This highlights that merely describing a new way to use an existing apparatus doesn’t make it patentable. To be patentable, an apparatus claim must have structural differences from the prior art. If an applicant wants to protect a specific way of using an apparatus, they should consider filing method claims in addition to apparatus claims.

To learn more:

#### MPEP 2136.02 – Content Of The Prior Art Available Against The Claims (1)

Subject matter that is disclosed in a parent application but not included in a child continuation-in-part (CIP) cannot be used as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) against the CIP. The MPEP cites a specific case law example:

“In re Lund, 376 F.2d 982, 153 USPQ 625 (CCPA 1967) (The examiner made a pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) rejection over an issued U.S. patent which was a continuation-in-part (CIP). The parent application of the U.S. patent reference contained an example II which was not carried over to the CIP. The court held that the subject matter embodied in the canceled example II could not be relied on as of either parent or child filing date. Thus, the use of example II subject matter to reject the claims under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) was improper.).”

This means that only the content actually present in the CIP can be used as prior art under 102(e), not additional content from the parent application that wasn’t carried over.

To learn more:

#### MPEP 2138.04 – "Conception" (1)

### What is the significance of drawings in proving conception for a patent?

Drawings play a crucial role in proving conception for a patent. The MPEP 2138.04 highlights their importance:

“

A conception must encompass all limitations of the claimed invention” and “is complete only when the idea is so clearly defined in the inventor’s mind that only ordinary skill would be necessary to reduce the invention to practice, without extensive research or experimentation.“

In this context, drawings are significant because:

- They provide a visual representation of the inventor’s mental picture of the invention.
- Detailed drawings can demonstrate that the inventor had a complete conception of all aspects of the invention.
- Drawings can help prove that the invention was “ready for patenting” at the time of conception.
- They can serve as corroborating evidence to support the inventor’s testimony about conception.

The MPEP also notes: “**The inventor’s consideration of all the structural details is not required**,” suggesting that while drawings are important, they don’t need to include every minute detail to prove conception. However, the more comprehensive and clear the drawings are, the stronger the evidence of conception.

To learn more:

#### MPEP 2165.02 – Best Mode Requirement Compared To Enablement Requirement (1)

The enablement requirement in patent law serves to ensure that the invention is sufficiently described to allow the public to make and use it. As explained in MPEP 2165.02:

**“The enablement requirement looks to placing the subject matter of the claims generally in the possession of the public.”**

This means that the patent application must provide enough information for a person skilled in the relevant field to understand and reproduce the invention without undue experimentation. The enablement requirement is crucial for fulfilling the patent system’s goal of promoting the progress of science and useful arts by ensuring that inventions are fully disclosed in exchange for patent protection.

To learn more:

#### Patent Law (6)

### What is the significance of drawings in proving conception for a patent?

Drawings play a crucial role in proving conception for a patent. The MPEP 2138.04 highlights their importance:

“

A conception must encompass all limitations of the claimed invention” and “is complete only when the idea is so clearly defined in the inventor’s mind that only ordinary skill would be necessary to reduce the invention to practice, without extensive research or experimentation.“

In this context, drawings are significant because:

- They provide a visual representation of the inventor’s mental picture of the invention.
- Detailed drawings can demonstrate that the inventor had a complete conception of all aspects of the invention.
- Drawings can help prove that the invention was “ready for patenting” at the time of conception.
- They can serve as corroborating evidence to support the inventor’s testimony about conception.

The MPEP also notes: “**The inventor’s consideration of all the structural details is not required**,” suggesting that while drawings are important, they don’t need to include every minute detail to prove conception. However, the more comprehensive and clear the drawings are, the stronger the evidence of conception.

To learn more:

Improvements to computer functionality can be a key factor in establishing patent eligibility. According to MPEP 2106.05(a):

“If it is asserted that the invention improves upon conventional functioning of a computer, or upon conventional technology or technological processes, a technical explanation as to how to implement the invention should be present in the specification.”

The MPEP cites several examples of improvements to computer functionality that courts have found to be patent-eligible:

- A modification of conventional Internet hyperlink protocol to dynamically produce a dual-source hybrid webpage (DDR Holdings)
- A specific improvement to the way computers operate (Enfish)
- A particular method of incorporating virus screening into the Internet (Symantec Corp)

However, the MPEP also notes that “the mere fact that a computer may be able to perform the claimed steps more efficiently does not necessarily render an abstract idea less abstract.”

The key is that the improvement must be to the functioning of a computer or other technology, not just an improvement to an abstract idea implemented on a computer.

To learn more:

Mathematical concepts are one of the three main categories of abstract ideas identified in the MPEP. The MPEP states:

“**The mathematical concepts grouping is defined as mathematical relationships, mathematical formulas or equations, and mathematical calculations.**“

When evaluating whether a claim recites a mathematical concept, examiners consider the following:

- Does the claim recite a mathematical relationship, formula, equation, or calculation?
- Is the mathematical concept merely based on or involves a mathematical concept?

The MPEP clarifies: “**A claim does not recite a mathematical concept (i.e., the claim limitations do not fall within the mathematical concept grouping), if it is only based on or involves a mathematical concept.**“

Examples of mathematical concepts considered abstract ideas include:

- A formula for computing an alarm limit (
*Parker v. Flook*) - A method of hedging risk (
*Bilski v. Kappos*) - An algorithm for converting binary-coded decimal numerals into pure binary form (
*Gottschalk v. Benson*)

It’s important to note that a claim is not automatically ineligible just because it involves a mathematical concept. The claim as a whole must be evaluated to determine if it integrates the mathematical concept into a practical application or provides an inventive concept.

To learn more:

The enablement requirement in patent law serves to ensure that the invention is sufficiently described to allow the public to make and use it. As explained in MPEP 2165.02:

**“The enablement requirement looks to placing the subject matter of the claims generally in the possession of the public.”**

This means that the patent application must provide enough information for a person skilled in the relevant field to understand and reproduce the invention without undue experimentation. The enablement requirement is crucial for fulfilling the patent system’s goal of promoting the progress of science and useful arts by ensuring that inventions are fully disclosed in exchange for patent protection.

To learn more:

Subject matter that is disclosed in a parent application but not included in a child continuation-in-part (CIP) cannot be used as prior art under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) against the CIP. The MPEP cites a specific case law example:

“In re Lund, 376 F.2d 982, 153 USPQ 625 (CCPA 1967) (The examiner made a pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) rejection over an issued U.S. patent which was a continuation-in-part (CIP). The parent application of the U.S. patent reference contained an example II which was not carried over to the CIP. The court held that the subject matter embodied in the canceled example II could not be relied on as of either parent or child filing date. Thus, the use of example II subject matter to reject the claims under pre-AIA 35 U.S.C. 102(e) was improper.).”

This means that only the content actually present in the CIP can be used as prior art under 102(e), not additional content from the parent application that wasn’t carried over.

To learn more:

MPEP 2114 provides guidance on distinguishing apparatus claims from method claims, particularly when functional language is involved. The manual states:

“While features of an apparatus may be recited either structurally or functionally, claims directed to an apparatus must be distinguished from the prior art in terms of structure rather than function.”

This means that for apparatus claims, the focus should be on the structural elements rather than how the apparatus functions. In contrast, method claims are defined by the steps or actions performed. The MPEP further clarifies:

“The recitation of a new intended use for an old product does not make a claim to that old product patentable.”

This highlights that merely describing a new way to use an existing apparatus doesn’t make it patentable. To be patentable, an apparatus claim must have structural differences from the prior art. If an applicant wants to protect a specific way of using an apparatus, they should consider filing method claims in addition to apparatus claims.

To learn more:

#### Patent Procedure (6)

### What is the significance of drawings in proving conception for a patent?

A conception must encompass all limitations of the claimed invention” and “

In this context, drawings are significant because:

- They provide a visual representation of the inventor’s mental picture of the invention.
- Drawings can help prove that the invention was “ready for patenting” at the time of conception.
- They can serve as corroborating evidence to support the inventor’s testimony about conception.

**The inventor’s consideration of all the structural details is not required**,” suggesting that while drawings are important, they don’t need to include every minute detail to prove conception. However, the more comprehensive and clear the drawings are, the stronger the evidence of conception.

To learn more:

- A specific improvement to the way computers operate (Enfish)
- A particular method of incorporating virus screening into the Internet (Symantec Corp)

To learn more:

When evaluating whether a claim recites a mathematical concept, examiners consider the following:

- Does the claim recite a mathematical relationship, formula, equation, or calculation?
- Is the mathematical concept merely based on or involves a mathematical concept?

Examples of mathematical concepts considered abstract ideas include:

- A formula for computing an alarm limit (
*Parker v. Flook*) - A method of hedging risk (
*Bilski v. Kappos*) - An algorithm for converting binary-coded decimal numerals into pure binary form (
*Gottschalk v. Benson*)

To learn more:

To learn more:

To learn more:

To learn more: