# Patent Law FAQ

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

#### MPEP 2100 – Patentability (2)

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:

#### 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:

#### Patent Law (2)

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:

#### Patent Procedure (2)

- 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: