Reading Between the Lines of Mayo v. Prometheus

Just one day after the Supreme Court ruling in Mayo v. Prometheus, Associate US Patent Office Commissioner Andrew Hirshfeld published a memorandum to patent examiners providing preliminary guidance.

Although Mayo v. Prometheus applies to far more than just pure software related issues, reading between the lines may bring some clarity to which kinds of software patents may be valid.

Software centered patents should be issued for technologies involved in the creation of other software and the operation of the system. Such technologies are generally in the field of computer science and deal with programing, operations management and other computing tasks.

This is different than patent claims that apply existing software technologies as part of a process.  In that case, the other steps in the process, method or system must support patentability.

I think Director Kappos and his staff are right on the ball with this one. Those who are critical of today’s patent office may just not be paying enough attention.

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