USPTO publishes October 2019 update to Patent Eligibility Guidance

On October 17, 2019, the USPTO published an update to its 2019 Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance (2019 PEG). The October 2019 update does not significantly change the patent eligibiity analysis, but it clarify several of the examination procedures that the USPTO first set out in January 2019.

Notably, the October 2019 update indicates that “the Office has shifted its approach from the case-comparison approach in determining whether a claim recites an abstract idea and instead uses enumerated groupings of abstract ideas.” Thus, Examiners should no longer focus on individual court decisions in their rejections but instead will determine whether the claims recite any of the groupings of abstract ideas listed in the 2019 PEG.

The October 2019 update also included several new subject matter eligibility examples, including examples for both life science and data processing inventions.

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