1. An apparatus executing computer instructions for chronicling a portion of an electronic market comprises:
a computer system including
Gutta says that its two-part test applies "if an applicant chooses to claim the manufacture in terms of applying a mathematical algorithm." This claim, when compared to the one held unpatentable in Gutta, may illustrate more precisely what the Board had in mind. Here, the panel found the claim sufficiently tied to a particular machine:
However, each of the independent claims on appeal recites devices, e.g., a computer system, a processor, a main memory coupled to the processor, and a persistent storage, which tie the claims to a particular machine or apparatus, and thus qualify the claims as patent eligible subject matterWhy the different treatment? Perhaps it is merely that Hughes's claim 1 can be seen as (albeit minimally) "tying these steps to...concrete parts, devices, or combinations of devices" since its method actually makes use of those parts (i.e., recording "in the main memory" and "in the persistent store"). In contrast, in Gutta's claim 14, the memory and processor are tossed in simply to encase the method within a "system", and are not at all "tied" to the steps of the method. Also, in Gutta the Board noted particularly that the method is described in the Specification "as a mathematical formula."
One takeaway is that Gutta's holding may not be as broad as originally thought, and that there may be some easy ways to circumvent it (at least until the forthcoming Bilski decision). Of course, with these claims, there's not much "there" there -- the 103 rejections were affirmed, rendering the 101 reversal as little more than dicta. But useful, still.
Query: Has anyone else had difficulty searching the BPAI decision database? For the last week or two, it seems the text searching capability has been ineffective.