CAFC in May this year has determined that the invention of the index structure of the database meets the eligibility of the patent no longer corresponds to the "abstraction" (does not violate the Patent Law Article 101) (Enfish v. Microsoft, CAFC ). The United States Patent Office on the basis of this (USPTO) was distributed to the examiner notes (note) for the screening method. How to respond on these overview and practice we will introduce.
Target patent: USP 6,151,604 Claim 17
the subject of the claim are as follows.
"For a computer memory, a store data and retrieve system,
comprising means for configuring the memory according to the logic table, the logic table:
a plurality of logical rows, each logical line the logical line has an object identification number for identifying the (OIDs), each of said logical line corresponds to one record of information, a plurality of logical rows,
defining a plurality of logic cells to cross said plurality of logical lines a plurality of logical rows, each logical column contains the OID for identifying the logical column, a plurality of logical columns,
and means for indexing to that stored in the table data
system. having "
Decision of the CAFC
first CAFC has the potential to violate the Patent Law Article 101 of the "abstract concept", it was separated from the invention to enhance the computer capability. "It has been the invention according to claim first is, or specifically improve the computer capacity, the question (which should be), or used as a mere tool of the computer to (such as economic activity) of the abstraction process. "" it is an invention that can be run on a general purpose computer, you can not consent to the (district court) decision to dictate that it does not have the patent eligibility of claims. "
The CAFC is, the present invention has to be the invention to enhance the computer capability. The focus of Claim in the "present is the increased functionality itself computer, not to be used for economic and other tasks in the normal repertoire computer. By self-referencing tables rather, specifically improve the operation of the computer . "
In the above decision CAFC has referred to the effect of the invention described herein. "Our determination is to be." Claims invention supported by the description of the following specification, in comparison with conventional database, improved flexibility, advantages such as reduction of search shortening of time, the memory amount required bring. ' "
TLI Communication Vs AV Automotive
CAFC to the judgment and before and after, "phone users enter the classification of the image, and this classification and image phone and sends it to the server, the server is using the classification to keep these Search for image "invention has determined not to have the eligibility of patent for (TLI Communication vs AV Automotive). Compared to the invention of Enfish, the present invention is clearly, it lacked the technical challenges and solutions. These two judgments and USPTO examination guidelines described, the invention which is determined to have the eligibility of patents, differences are inventions judged not be eligible is clear.
Note of USPTO
USPTO announced a note for the examiner to May this year in response to both the ruling. The memo, says as follows on that explains both the ruling. "Invention to improve the computer-related technology, so far it is likely not the inventor and the like that have been with the abstract concept (likely not)."
Countermeasures to Article 101 of reasons for refusal
to notes USPTO Enfish, as has been suggested will have a significant impact on practice.
And also in view of the DDR ruling that previously had been introduced in the examination guidelines of the USPTO, if there is a specific problem in computers and the Internet, the means to resolve them has a much greater chance of being judged not to be in violation of Article 101 It was. Therefore, in the first invention interview, even if at first glance appear to the invention of the business method, unique in carrying out its business method, it is important to find the unique challenges to computers and the Internet. On top of that, it is recommended that you draft a claim as a means to resolve them.
In Enfish, it is described in the specification to the effect that to solve the unique challenges have been cited in the computer and the Internet. Since the description of the specification has become clear that it is important, in the specification and these issues, we recommend that you described them to resolve the effect. In a written opinion on it, on that and the present invention claims of DDR or Enfish have explained that it is a conservative, DDR, and the words that were shown in the judgment of Enfish, and the USPTO examination guidelines to introduce them, the memo words with reference to the, it is useful to explain the eligibility of the patent.
For Article 101 of the judgment, but has been a lot of explanation in the USPTO interim guidelines and notes, the greater examiner that these does not know exactly is the actual situation. It might be difficult to understand the applicant's claims about this for 101 Article. Further problems to be solved invention will be understood that it is a problem peculiar to the Internet and the computer may not relatively difficult. In the case of these, I think that is often the case that the interview is effectively work.