We recently published the following new materials as part of our subject matter eligibility guidance:

  • 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance (January 7, 2019)
  • 2019 PEG examples 37-42 (issued January 7, 2019)
  • Chart of MPEP Sections Affected by the 2019 PEG (posted January 7, 2019)
  • Form Paragraphs (posted January 8, 2019)
  • Frequently Asked Questions (posted January 8, 2019)
  • Sample Rejection (posted January 8, 2019)
  • Chart of Subject Matter Eligibility Court Decisions (posted February 1, 2019)

Please follow the links below for these materials.

Subject matter eligibility

Our subject matter eligibility guidance explains how Office personnel including patent examiners should evaluate claims for patent subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101.  

Examination guidance

The Office's current eligibility guidance found in the recently issued 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance (2019 PEG) and in Manual of Patent Examination Procedure (MPEP) Sections 2103, 2104, 2105, 2106 and 2106.03 through 2106.07(c) (except 2106.04(II) which is now superseded). The 2019 PEG supersedes MPEP section 2106.04(II) along with any other portion of the MPEP that conflicts with the 2019 PEG. This chart discusses the section of the MPEP that are affected by the 2019 PEG. The 2019 PEG revises the procedures for determining whether a claim is directed to a judicial exception (Step 2A in the Office's eligibility framework). 

Examples

Below is an example set (Examples 37 through 42) illustrating exemplary subject matter eligibility analyses of claims under the 2019 PEG. These examples are a teaching tool to assist examiners and the public in understanding how the Office applies the 2019 PEG in certain fact-specific situations. The analysis in the examples issued prior to the 2019 PEG (Examples 1-36) will provide useful illustrations of eligible subject matter across a range of technologies. All claims indicated as eligible in these examples are still eligible under the 2019 PEG.

The index of examples will be updated at a later date.

Other materials

These documents provide summaries and additional information for use with the Office's eligibility guidance.

How to comment

We are interested in receiving public feedback on our subject matter eligibility guidance, and particularly our guidance in the 2019 PEG. To ensure consideration, written comments directed to the 2019 PEG must be received on or before March 8, 2019.

Anyone may submit written comments to Eligibility2019@uspto.gov. Email comments submitted in plain text are preferred, but also may be submitted in ADOBE® portable document format or MICROSOFT WORD® format. Because comments will be available to the public, information that is not desired to be made public, such as an address or a phone number, should not be included in the comments.

Previous comments we received are available for public viewing here:

Events

The USPTO has held several events to discuss patent subject matter eligibility and receive feedback from interested members of the public.

Archive

You may also view past guidance documents by their date of issuance, but please take note that these documents have been incorporated into the MPEP. Eligibility-related guidance issued prior to the Ninth Edition, Revision 08.2017, of the MPEP (revised January 2018) should not be relied upon. All versions of the Office's "Eligibility Quick Reference Sheet Identifying Abstract Ideas" (first issued in July 2015 and updated most recently in July 2018) have been superseded by the 2019 PEG.

Contact 

Please contact the Office of Patent Legal Administration for questions regarding the content of this web page.