February 4, 2015
After the Alice decision last summer by the Supreme Court, a large number of business method and software patents have been invalidated or found unpatentable by federal courts and the Patent Office as being drawn to abstract ideas. Innovators and attorneys practicing in these areas have been left uncertain as to what constitutes an abstract idea versus what is patentable. To help clarify, on January 27, 2015, the Patent Office released abstract idea claim examples to accompany the 2014 Interim Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility released on December 16, 2014. The claim examples are related to computer-implemented business method and software patent claims, and include claims that would be patent eligible and claims that would be patent ineligible when analyzed under the 2014 Interim Eligibility Guidance.

Additionally, on January 21, 2015, the USPTO held a public forum in Alexandria, VA to receive feedback from the public regarding the 2014 Interim Guidance on Subject Matter Eligibility. Many practitioners provided accounts of their experiences regarding recent interactions with the USPTO related to subject matter eligibility rejections and recommendations for the future. A recap of the public forum can be found here.

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