The Business Methods Practice Area is part of Technology Center 3600 that handles Business Methods applications. The Business Methods Practice Area is comprised of three workgroups that include 3620, 3680, and 3690. The 3620 and the 3680 workgroups examine applications pertaining to incentive programs, coupons; operations research; electronic shopping; health care; point of sale, inventory, accounting; cost/price, reservations, shipping, and transportation; and business processing. The 3690 workgroup examines applications pertaining to finance/banking/insurance.
Guidance and training materials
35 U.S.C § 101
35 U.S.C § 103
- Examination guidelines and training materials in view of KSR International Co. v Teleflex Inc.
- Developments in the Obviousness Inquiry after KSR International Co. v. Teleflex Inc.
Other examination guidance and training materials
Outreach opportunities and presentations
USPTO outreach opportunities bring together inventors and examiners to promote a deeper understanding of technology and the examining process. Find out more about how you can participate in the patent examining process.
- Business Methods Partnership Meetings Speaker Interest Form– Partnering with our external stakeholders to establish a dialogue about mutual topics of interest.
- Patent Examiner Technical Training (PETTP) Program – Opportunities for experts from industry and academia to participate as guest lecturers and provide technical training and expertise to Patent Examiners regarding the state of the art.
- Site Experience Education Program (SEE) Trips – Examiner field trips to commercial, industrial, and academic institutions within U.S. to enable Patent Examiners to explore the technology where it is being developed.
Past Business Methods outreach presentations designed to provide resources and information to our stakeholders.
Examiner decision making process
The final say for the determination of patentability resides with the Primary Examiner (MPEP §1004) with the exception of when a Junior Examiner has partial signatory authority (MPEP §1005). The chart below illustrates decision points and who is the deciding official during the first examination, the subsequent examination, and the appeals process.