Further nonsense at the USPTO

The following should be borne in mind before reading the rest of this post:
"The state of the law with respect to subject matter eligibility is in flux. The following interim instructions are for examination guidance pending a final decision from the Supreme Court in Bilski v. Kappos. These examination instructions do not constitute substantive rulemaking and hence do not have the force and effect of law. Rejections will be based upon the substantive law, and it is these rejections that are appealable. Consequently, any perceived failure by Office personnel to follow these instructions is neither appealable nor petitionable."
The IPKat can now announce that the USPTO, under its new ex-IBM boss David Kappos, has formulated a new set of guidelines (available from Patently-O) on how to deal with patentable subject matter, even though Bilski remains to be finally decided by the Supreme Court. More than this the IPKat is reluctant to say for now as his fur is bristling too much, but he finds it difficult to see how the new guidance, with its ridiculous (and strangely ironic) playschool-type flowcharts, will help in the meantime.

Thanks also to Stéphane Ambrosini for prodding the IPKat in action.
Further nonsense at the USPTO Further nonsense at the USPTO Reviewed by David Pearce on Wednesday, August 26, 2009 Rating: 5


  1. You mean you don't use charts like that in law in the UK? My law school outlines and study materials were filled with such fun "playschool" diagrams; don't know how I would have made it through without them. ;)

  2. Patently-O don't seem to have a problem with this. How is a flowchart worse than a four-step test, whether it be the one from Aerotel or from Windsurfer?

  3. I am inclined to agree with:

    Patently-O in saying the "guidelines appear to do a good job of synthesizing the highly confusing area of law into a straightforward algorithm"

    and Kojak when he mumbled on about a picture being worth a 1,000 words especially when illustrating multi-stage tests (though perhaps i may have made up that last bit).

    More flowcharts please!

  4. Agree with the above. It may be redundant soon, but full marks to the USPTO for trying to make a confusing area of law easier to understand.

  5. Dear Kats,

    could you please have a headline in your postings, so one can sort out and have priority in reading whether the issue is nearer or farer away from one's interest?

    Regards Heinz


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