Patent is an important legal tool for inventors to protect their interests in their inventions. But what kind of inventions exactly? Statutorily, an eligible invention needs to be a “process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter.” However, not every subject-matter that facially falls under one of the four categories may receive patent protection. Indeed, the Supreme Court has carved out exceptions to patentability: Laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas are unpatentable. Among them, abstract ideas are the most difficult to define. As a result, the abstract idea exception generates the greatest legal uncertainty.
This post was originally published on the Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal website on November 17, 2018. The original post can be accessed via the Archived Link button above.
Lin, Jun, "Result Orientation Test for an Abstract Idea: Demise of the Means-Plus-Function Claim?" (2018). AELJ Blog. 184.