The United States Patent and Trademark Office Issues Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance

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On January 7, 2019, the United States Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) published its 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance in the Federal Register at 84 Fed. Reg. 50. Ten months later in October 2019, the USPTO published an update using further explanation and examples primarily directed to examination procedures. The Updated Guidance is organized into five major themes:

(1) evaluating whether a claim recites a judicial exception;

(2) grouping the abstract ideas enumerated in the January Guidance;

(3) evaluating whether a judicial exception is integrated into a practical application;

(4) discussing the prima facie case and the role of evidence with respect to eligibility rejections; and

(5) the application of the January Guidance in the patent examining corps.

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