What is an abstract idea?
- The Court did not provide any clear guidance and expressly declined to “delimit the precise contours of the ‘abstract ideas’ category.”
- The Court stated that the claims at issue in the Benson, Flook, and Bilski decisions recited abstract ideas.
- The claims at issue in Alice were held to be abstract because they were similar to Bilski in that intermediated settlement is also “a fundamental economic practice long prevalent in our system of commerce.”
- The Court rejected Alice’s proposal that the “abstract idea” exception should be limited to “pre-existing fundamental truths that exist in principle apart from any human action.”
If the claim is directed to an abstract idea, does it contain an inventive concept that is sufficient to transform the idea into a patent-eligible application of an idea?
- Is there an “inventive concept” that amounts to “to significantly more than a patent upon the [ineligible concept] itself.”
- The Court explained this step in view of its prior decisions.
- The Mayo claims did not supply a transformative inventive concept because they only appended conventional steps to an abstract idea, which were specified at a high level of generality.
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