The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) today provided notice of an update to the 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance (2019 PEG).
The October 2019 Update responds to public comments regarding the 2019 PEG. The update does not change the 2019 PEG, but provides further explanation on how the USPTO applies such guidance. For example, the update provides additional information on how the USPTO determines if a claim “recites” an abstract idea and how groupings within the abstract idea exception are determined. It also explains the procedures examiners can use to identify “tentative abstract ideas” and provides more information on how examiners evaluate whether a judicial exception is integrated into a practical application. The update also addresses the examiner’s responsibility to provide adequate notice to applicants in making a subject matter eligibility rejection. In addition to the written explanations described above, the update includes additional helpful examples in the life sciences and data processing areas. It also includes an updated index of examples for use with the 2019 PEG and an updated case law chart that lists selected eligibility cases from the U.S. Supreme Court and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.
The October 2019 Update materials are available to the public on the Subject Matter Eligibility page of the USPTO website. Feedback on the update or on any patent eligibility issue is welcome on an ongoing basis. Instructions for submitting feedback, and more information on the public comments, are available on our Subject Matter Eligibility page.