PTO Publishes More Rules Packages

Last week, the PTO published a number of additional rules packages to implement the America Invents Act.

Technical Invention

Section 18 of the America Invents Act is a special transition program for challenging business method patents.  The section defines “business method patents” as

a patent that claims a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service, except that the term does not include patents for technological inventions.

The bill directed the PTO to issue regulations as to what a “technological invention” is.  The PTO has now proposed a definition:

whether the claimed subject matter as a whole recites a technological feature that is novel and unobvious over the prior art; and solves a technical problem using a technical solution.

This determination is to be made on a case-by-case basis.  The PTO supports this definition by reference to the legislative history of the AIA.  Unfortunately, this does not help very much.  What is a “technical problem”?  What is a “technical solution”?

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2 Responses to “PTO Publishes More Rules Packages”

  1. PTO Numbers – June 2012 « INVENTIVE STEP Says:

    […] The crisis at the Board continues to get worse and shows no signs of abating.   This number continues to climb–from 81.9 months in January, to now over 7 years!  New technologies become obsolete prior to getting a patent or decision by the Board.  The PTO hired a number of additional patent judges and attorneys to deal with this issue, but the sharp increase in the number of appeals filed has made tackling this an impossibility.   Soon, the Board will have significantly greater responsibilities with the beginning of the new post-grant review proceedings. […]

  2. What is a Business Method Patent? | INVENTIVE STEP Says:

    […] America Invents Act set up a transitional program for reexamination of business method patents.  These patents can be challenged on prior art grounds of novelty and non-obviousness, but also on […]

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