Footnotes for Examination Guidelines for Computer-Related Inventions


[1] These Guidelines are final and replace the "Proposed Examination Guidelines for Computer-Implemented Inventions, 60 Fed. Reg. 28,778 (June 2, 1995) and the supporting legal analysis issued on October 3, 1995.

[2] "Computer-related inventions" include inventions implemented in a computer and inventions employing computer-readable media.

[3] In re Abele, 684 F.2d 902, 905-07, 214 USPQ 682, 685-87 (CCPA 1982); In re Walter, 618 F.2d 758, 767, 205 USPQ 397, 406-07 (CCPA 1980); In re Freeman, 573 F.2d 1237, 1245, 197 USPQ 464, 471 (CCPA 1978).

[4] See, e.g., In re Toma, 575 F.2d 872, 877-78, 197 USPQ 852, 857 (CCPA 1978); In re Musgrave, 431 F.2d 882, 893, 167 USPQ 280, 289-90 (CCPA 1970). See also In re Schrader, 22 F.3d 290, 297-98, 30 USPQ2d 1455, 1461-62 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (Newman, J., dissenting); Paine, Webber, Jackson & Curtis, Inc. v. Merrill Lynch, Pierce, Fenner & Smith, Inc., 564 F. Supp. 1358, 1368-69, 218 USPQ 212, 220 (D. Del. 1983).

[5] As the courts have repeatedly reminded the Office: "The goal is to answer the question "'What did applicants invent?'" Abele, 684 F.2d at 907, 214 USPQ at 687. Accord, e.g., Arrhythmia Research Tech. v. Corazonix Corp., 958 F.2d 1053, 1059, 22 USPQ2d 1033, 1038 (Fed. Cir. 1992).

[6] Brenner v. Manson, 383 U.S. 519, 528-36, 148 USPQ 689, 693-96 (1966); In re Ziegler, 992 F.2d 1197, 1200-03, 26 USPQ2d 1600, 1603-06 (Fed. Cir. 1993).

[7] See, e.g., Musgrave, 431 F.2d at 893, 167 USPQ at 289-90, cited with approval in Schrader, 22 F.3d at 297, 30 USPQ2d at 1461 (Newman, J., dissenting). The definition of "technology" is the "application of science and engineering to the development of machines and procedures in order to enhance or improve human conditions, or at least to improve human efficiency in some respect." Computer Dictionary 384 (Microsoft Press, 2d ed. 1994).

[8] E.g., In re Alappat, 33 F.3d 1526, 1543, 31 USPQ2d 1545, 1556-57 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (in banc) (quoting Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. 175, 192, 209 USPQ 1, 10 (1981)). See also id. at 1569, 31 USPQ2d at 1578-79 (Newman, J., concurring) ("unpatentability of the principle does not defeat patentability of its practical applications") (citing O'Reilly v. Morse, 56 U.S. (15 How.) 62, 114-19 (1854)); Arrhythmia, 958 F.2d at 1056, 22 USPQ2d at 1036; Musgrave, 431 F.2d at 893, 167 USPQ at 289-90 ("All that is necessary, in our view, to make a sequence of operational steps a statutory 'process' within 35 U.S.C. 101 is that it be in the technological arts so as to be in consonance with the Constitutional purpose to promote the progress of 'useful arts.' Const. Art. 1, sec. 8.").

[9] Arrhythmia, 958 F.2d at 1057, 22 USPQ2d at 1036:

It is of course true that a modern digital computer manipulates data, usually in binary form, by performing mathematical operations, such as addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, or bit shifting, on the data. But this is only how the computer does what it does. Of importance is the significance of the data and their manipulation in the real world, i.e., what the computer is doing.

[10] Many computer-related inventions do not consist solely of a computer. Thus, Office personnel should identify those claimed elements of the computer-related invention that are not part of the programmed computer, and determine how those elements relate to the programmed computer. Office personnel should look for specific information that explains the role of the programmed computer in the overall process or machine and how the programmed computer is to be integrated with the other elements of the apparatus or used in the process.

[11] Products may be either machines, manufactures or compositions of matter. Product claims are claims that are directed to either machines, manufactures or compositions of matter.

[12] Examples of language that may raise a question as to the limiting effect of the language in a claim:

(a) statements of intended use or field of use,
(b) "adapted to" or "adapted for" clauses,
(c) "wherein" clauses, or
(d) "whereby" clauses.

This list of examples is not intended to be exhaustive.

[13] Markman v. Westview Instruments, 52 F.3d 967, 980, 34 USPQ2d 1321, 1330 (Fed. Cir.) (in banc), cert. granted, 116 S. Ct. 40 (1995).

[14] See, e.g., In re Paulsen, 30 F.3d 1475, 1480, 31 USPQ2d 1671, 1674 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (inventor may define specific terms used to describe invention, but must do so "with reasonable clarity, deliberateness, and precision" and, if done, must "'set out his uncommon definition in some manner within the patent disclosure' so as to give one of ordinary skill in the art notice of the change" in meaning) (quoting Intellicall, Inc. v. Phonometrics, Inc., 952 F.2d 1384, 1387-88, 21 USPQ2d 1383, 1386 (Fed. Cir. 1992)).

[15] Id. at 1480, 31 USPQ2d at 1674.

[16] See, e.g., In re Zletz, 893 F.2d 319, 321-22, 13 USPQ2d 1320, 1322 (Fed. Cir. 1989) ("During patent examination the pending claims must be interpreted as broadly as their terms reasonably allow. . . . The reason is simply that during patent prosecution when claims can be amended, ambiguities should be recognized, scope and breadth of language explored, and clarification imposed. . . . An essential purpose of patent examination is to fashion claims that are precise, clear, correct, and unambiguous. Only in this way can uncertainties of claim scope be removed, as much as possible, during the administrative process.").

[17] Two in banc decisions of the Federal Circuit have made clear that the Office is to interpret means plus function language according to 35 U.S.C. 112, sixth paragraph. In the first, In re Donaldson, 16 F.3d 1189, 1193, 29 USPQ2d 1845, 1848 (Fed. Cir. 1994), the court held:

The plain and unambiguous meaning of paragraph six is that one construing means-plus-function language in a claim must look to the specification and interpret that language in light of the corresponding structure, material, or acts described therein, and equivalents thereof, to the extent that the specification provides such disclosure. Paragraph six does not state or even suggest that the PTO is exempt from this mandate, and there is no legislative history indicating that Congress intended that the PTO should be. Thus, this court must accept the plain and precise language of paragraph six.

Consistent with Donaldson, in the second decision, Alappat, 33 F.3d at 1540, 31 USPQ2d at 1554, the Federal Circuit held:

Given Alappat's disclosure, it was error for the Board majority to interpret each of the means clauses in claim 15 so broadly as to "read on any and every means for performing the function" recited, as it said it was doing, and then to conclude that claim 15 is nothing more than a process claim wherein each means clause represents a step in that process. Contrary to suggestions by the Commissioner, this court's precedents do not support the Board's view that the particular apparatus claims at issue in this case may be viewed as nothing more than process claims.

[18] 1162 O.G. 59 (May 17, 1994).

[19] See, e.g., Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. at 188-89, 209 USPQ at 9 ("In determining the eligibility of respondents' claimed process for patent protection under 101, their claims must be considered as a whole. It is inappropriate to dissect the claims into old and new elements and then to ignore the presence of the old elements in the analysis. This is particularly true in a process claim because a new combination of steps in a process may be patentable even though all the constituents of the combination were well known and in common use before the combination was made.").

[20] See supra note 18 and accompanying text.

[21] Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. 303, 308-09, 206 USPQ 193, 197 (1980):

In choosing such expansive terms as "manufacture" and "composition of matter," modified by the comprehensive "any," Congress plainly contemplated that the patent laws would be given wide scope. The relevant legislative history also supports a broad construction. The Patent Act of 1793, authored by Thomas Jefferson, defined statutory subject matter as "any new and useful art, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new or useful improvement [thereof]." Act of Feb. 21, 1793, 1, 1 Stat. 319. The Act embodied Jefferson's philosophy that "ingenuity should receive a liberal encouragement." 5 Writings of Thomas Jefferson 75-76 (Washington ed. 1871). See Graham v. John Deere Co., 383 U.S. 1, 7-10 (1966). Subsequent patent statutes in 1836, 1870, and 1874 employed this same broad language. In 1952, when the patent laws were recodified, Congress replaced the word "art" with "process," but otherwise left Jefferson's language intact. The Committee Reports accompanying the 1952 Act inform us that Congress intended statutory subject matter to "include anything under the sun that is made by man." S. Rep. No. 1979, 82d Cong., 2d Sess. 5 (1952); H.R. Rep. No. 1923, 82d Cong., 2d Sess. 6 (1952).

This perspective has been embraced by the Federal Circuit:

The plain and unambiguous meaning of 101 is that any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may be patented if it meets the requirements for patentability set forth in Title 35, such as those found in 102, 103, and 112. The use of the expansive term "any" in 101 represents Congress's intent not to place any restrictions on the subject matter for which a patent may be obtained beyond those specifically recited in 101 and the other parts of Title 35. . . . Thus, it is improper to read into 101 limitations as to the subject matter that may be patented where the legislative history does not indicate that Congress clearly intended such limitations. [Alappat, 33 F.3d at 1542, 31 USPQ2d at 1556.]

[22] 35 U.S.C. 101 (1994).

[23] See 35 U.S.C. 100(b) ("The term 'process' means process, art, or method, and includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or material.").

[24] E.g., Alappat, 33 F.3d at 1542, 31 USPQ2d at 1556; In re Warmerdam, 33 F.3d 1354, 1358, 31 USPQ2d 1754, 1757 (Fed. Cir. 1994).

[25] See, e.g., Rubber-Tip Pencil Co. v. Howard, 87 U.S. 498, 507 (1874) ("idea of itself is not patentable, but a new device by which it may be made practically useful is"); Mackay Radio & Telegraph Co. v. Radio Corp. of America, 306 U.S. 86, 94 (1939) ("While a scientific truth, or the mathematical expression of it, is not patentable invention, a novel and useful structure created with the aid of knowledge of scientific truth may be."); Warmerdam, 33 F.3d at 1360, 31 USPQ2d at 1759 ("steps of 'locating' a medial axis, and 'creating' a bubble hierarchy . . . describe nothing more than the manipulation of basic mathematical constructs, the paradigmatic 'abstract idea'").

[26] The concern over preemption was expressed as early as 1852. See Le Roy v. Tatham, 55 U.S. 156, 175 (1852) ("A principle, in the abstract, is a fundamental truth; an original cause; a motive; these cannot be patented, as no one can claim in either of them an exclusive right."); Funk Brothers Seed Co. v. Kalo Inoculant Co., 333 U.S. 127, 132, 76 USPQ 280, 282 (1948) (combination of six species of bacteria held to be non-statutory subject matter).

[27] The definition of "data structure" is "a physical or logical relationship among data elements, designed to support specific data manipulation functions." The New IEEE Standard Dictionary of Electrical and Electronics Terms 308 (5th ed. 1993).

[28] Compare In re Lowry, 32 F.3d 1579, 1583-84, 32 USPQ2d 1031, 1035 (Fed. Cir. 1994) (claim to data structure that increases computer efficiency held statutory) and Warmerdam, 33 F.3d at 1360-61, 31 USPQ2d at 1759 (claim to computer having specific memory held statutory product-by-process claim) with Warmerdam, 33 F.3d at 1361, 31 USPQ2d at 1760 (claim to a data structure per se held non-statutory).

[29] In re Sarkar, 588 F.2d 1330, 1333, 200 USPQ 132, 137 (CCPA 1978):

[E]ach invention must be evaluated as claimed; yet semantogenic considerations preclude a determination based solely on words appearing in the claims. In the final analysis under 101, the claimed invention, as a whole, must be evaluated for what it is.

Quoted with approval in Abele, 684 F.2d at 907, 214 USPQ at 687. See also In re Johnson, 589 F.2d 1070, 1077, 200 USPQ 199, 206 (CCPA 1978) ("form of the claim is often an exercise in drafting").

[30] See, e.g., Warmerdam, 33 F.3d at 1361, 31 USPQ2d at 1760 (claim to a data structure per se held non-statutory).

[31] Computer Dictionary 210 (Microsoft Press, 2d ed. 1994):

Data consists of facts, which become information when they are seen in context and convey meaning to people. Computers process data without any understanding of what that data represents.

[32] See supra note 29.

[33] O'Reilly v. Morse, 56 U.S. (15 How.) at 112-14.

[34] Id. at 114-19.

[35] Products may be either machines, manufactures or compositions of matter.

A machine is:
a concrete thing, consisting of parts or of certain devices and combinations of devices.Burr v. Duryee, 68 U.S. (1 Wall.) 531, 570 (1863).

A manufacture is:
the production of articles for use from raw or prepared materials by giving to these materials new forms, qualities, properties or combinations, whether by hand-labor or by machinery.Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. at 308, 206 USPQ at 196-97 (quoting American Fruit Growers, Inc. v. Brogdex Co., 283 U.S. 1, 11 (1931).

A composition of matter is:
a composition[] of two or more substances [or] . . . a[] composite article[], whether . . . [it] be the result of chemical union, or of mechanical mixture, whether . . . [it] be [a] gas[], fluid[], powder[], or solid[].Diamond v. Chakrabarty, 447 U.S. at 308, 206 USPQ at 197 (quoting Shell Development Co. v. Watson, 149 F. Supp. 279, 280, 113 USPQ 265, 266 (D.D.C. 1957), aff'd per curiam, 252 F.2d 861, 116 USPQ 428 (D.C. Cir. 1958).

[36] See, e.g., Lowry, 32 F.3d at 1583, 32 USPQ2d at 1034-35; Warmerdam, 33 F.3d at 1361-62, 31 USPQ2d at 1760.

[37] Cf. In re Iwahashi, 888 F.2d 1370, 1374-75, 12 USPQ2d 1908, 1911-12 (Fed. Cir. 1989), cited with approval in Alappat, 33 F.3d at 1544 n.24, 31 USPQ2d at 1558 n.24.

[38] "Specific software" is defined as a set of instructions implemented in a specific program code segment. See Computer Dictionary 78 (Microsoft Press, 2d ed. 1994) for definition of "code segment."

[39] See Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. at 183-84, 209 USPQ at 6 (quoting Cochrane v. Deener, 94 U.S. 780, 787-88 (1877) ("A [statutory] process is a mode of treatment of certain materials to produce a given result. It is an act, or a series of acts, performed upon the subject-matter to be transformed and reduced to a different state or thing. . . . The process requires that certain things should be done with certain substances, and in a certain order; but the tools to be used in doing this may be of secondary consequence.").

[40] See Alappat, 33 F.3d at 1543, 31 USPQ2d at 1556-57 (quoting Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. at 192, 209 USPQ at 10). See also id. at 1569, 31 USPQ2d at 1578-79 (Newman, J., concurring) ("unpatentability of the principle does not defeat patentability of its practical applications") (citing O'Reilly v. Morse, 56 U.S. (15 How.) at 114-19).

[41] Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U.S. at 187, 209 USPQ at 8.

[42] See In re Gelnovatch, 595 F.2d 32, 41 n.7, 201 USPQ 136, 145 n.7 (CCPA 1979) (data-gathering step did not measure physical phenomenon).

[43] Schrader, 22 F.3d at 294, 30 USPQ2d at 1459 citing with approval Arrhythmia, 958 F.2d at 1058-59, 22 USPQ2d at 1037-38; Abele, 684 F.2d at 909, 214 USPQ at 688; In re Taner, 681 F.2d 787, 790, 214 USPQ 678, 681 (CCPA 1982).

[44] See supra note 9.

[45] In Sarkar, 588 F.2d at 1335, 200 USPQ at 139, the court explained why this approach must be followed:

No mathematical equation can be used, as a practical matter, without establishing and substituting values for the variables expressed therein. Substitution of values dictated by the formula has thus been viewed as a form of mathematical step. If the steps of gathering and substituting values were alone sufficient, every mathematical equation, formula, or algorithm having any practical use would be per se subject to patenting as a "process" under 101. Consideration of whether the substitution of specific values is enough to convert the disembodied ideas present in the formula into an embodiment of those ideas, or into an application of the formula, is foreclosed by the current state of the law.

[46] See supra note 40.

[47] See, e.g., In re Bernhart, 417 F.2d 1395, 1400, 163 USPQ 611, 616 (CCPA 1969).

[48] Schrader, 22 F.3d at 293-94, 30 USPQ2d at 1458-59.

[49] Warmerdam, 33 F.3d at 1360, 31 USPQ2d at 1759.

[50] See, e.g., In re Meyer, 688 F.2d 789, 794-95, 215 USPQ 193, 197 (CCPA 1982) ("Scientific principles, such as the relationship between mass and energy, and laws of nature, such as the acceleration of gravity, namely, a=32 ft./sec.2, can be represented in mathematical format. However, some mathematical algorithms and formulae do not represent scientific principles or laws of nature; they represent ideas or mental processes and are simply logical vehicles for communicating possible solutions to complex problems. The presence of a mathematical algorithm or formula in a claim is merely an indication that a scientific principle, law of nature, idea or mental process may be the subject matter claimed and, thus, justify a rejection of that claim under 35 USC 101; but the presence of a mathematical algorithm or formula is only a signpost for further analysis."). Cf. Alappat, 33 F.3d at 1543 n.19, 31 USPQ2d at 1556 n.19 in which the Federal Circuit recognized the confusion:

The Supreme Court has not been clear . . . as to whether such subject matter is excluded from the scope of 101 because it represents laws of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract ideas. See Diehr, 450 U.S. at 186 (viewed mathematical algorithm as a law of nature); Benson, 409 U.S. at 71-72 (treated mathematical algorithm as an "idea"). The Supreme Court also has not been clear as to exactly what kind of mathematical subject matter may not be patented. The Supreme Court has used, among others, the terms "mathematical algorithm," "mathematical formula," and "mathematical equation" to describe types of mathematical subject matter not entitled to patent protection standing alone. The Supreme Court has not set forth, however, any consistent or clear explanation of what it intended by such terms or how these terms are related, if at all.

[51] Walter, 618 F.2d at 769, 205 USPQ at 409 (Because none of the claimed steps were explicitly or implicitly limited to their application in seismic prospecting activities, the court held that "[a]lthough the claim preambles relate the claimed invention to the art of seismic prospecting, the claims themselves are not drawn to methods of or apparatus for seismic prospecting; they are drawn to improved mathematical methods for interpreting the results of seismic prospecting."). Cf. Alappat, 33 F.3d at 1544, 31 USPQ2d at 1558.

[52] Walter, 618 F.2d at 769-70, 205 USPQ at 409.

[53] See supra note 45.

[54] Taner, 681 F.2d at 788, 214 USPQ at 679.

[55] Abele, 684 F.2d at 908, 214 USPQ at 687 ("The specification indicates that such attenuation data is available only when an X-ray beam is produced by a CAT scanner, passed through an object, and detected upon its exit. Only after these steps have been completed is the algorithm performed, and the resultant modified data displayed in the required format.").

[56] Gelnovatch, 595 F.2d at 41 n.7, 201 USPQ at 145 n.7 ("Appellants' claimed step of perturbing the values of a set of process inputs (step 3), in addition to being a mathematical operation, appears to be a data-gathering step of the type we have held insufficient to change a nonstatutory method of calculation into a statutory process. . . . In this instance, the perturbed process inputs are not even measured values of physical phenomena, but are instead derived by numerically changing the values in the previous set of process inputs.").

[57] Sarkar, 588 F.2d at 1331, 200 USPQ at 135.

[58] See Sarkar, 588 F.2d at 1332 n.6, 200 USPQ at 136 n.6 ("post-solution" construction that was being modeled by the mathematical process not considered in deciding 101 question because applicant indicated that such construction was not a material element of the invention).

[59] Parker v. Flook, 437 U.S. 584, 585, 198 USPQ 193, 195 (1978).

[60] Walter, 618 F.2d at 770, 205 USPQ at 409 ("If 101 could be satisfied by the mere recordation of the results of a nonstatutory process on some record medium, even the most unskilled patent draftsman could provide for such a step.").

[61] Gelnovatch, 595 F.2d at 41 n.7, 201 USPQ at 145 n.7.

[62] Abele, 684 F.2d at 909, 214 USPQ at 688 ("This claim presents no more than the calculation of a number and display of the result, albeit in a particular format. The specification provides no greater meaning to 'data in a field' than a matrix of numbers regardless of by what method generated. Thus, the algorithm is neither explicitly nor implicitly applied to any certain process. Moreover, that the result is displayed as a shade of gray rather than as simply a number provides no greater or better information, considering the broad range of applications encompassed by the claim.").

[63] In re De Castelet, 562 F.2d 1236, 1244, 195 USPQ 439, 446 (CCPA 1977) ("That the computer is instructed to transmit electrical signals, representing the results of its calculations, does not constitute the type of 'post solution activity' found in Flook, [437 U.S. 584, 198 USPQ 193 (1978)], and does not transform the claim into one for a process merely using an algorithm. The final transmitting step constitutes nothing more than reading out the result of the calculations.").

[64] E.g., Warmerdam, 33 F.3d at 1360, 31 USPQ2d at 1759. See also Schrader, 22 F.3d at 295, 30 USPQ2d at 1459.

[65] See supra note 18 and accompanying text.

[66] Computer Dictionary 353 (Microsoft Press, 2d ed. 1994) (definition of "self-documenting code").

[67] See In re Barker, 559 F.2d 588, 591, 194 USPQ 470, 472 (CCPA 1977), cert. denied, Barker v. Parker, 434 U.S. 1064 (1978) (a specification may be sufficient to enable one skilled in the art to make and use the invention, but still fail to comply with the written description requirement). See also In re DiLeone, 436 F.2d 1404, 1405, 168 USPQ 592, 593 (CCPA 1971).

[68] See, e.g., Northern Telecom v. Datapoint Corp., 908 F.2d 931, 941-43, 15 USPQ2d 1321, 1328-30 (Fed. Cir.), cert. denied, Datapoint Corp. v. Northern Telecom, 498 U.S. 920 (1990) (judgment of invalidity reversed for clear error where expert testimony on both sides showed that a programmer of reasonable skill could write a satisfactory program with ordinary effort based on the disclosure); DeGeorge v. Bernier, 768 F.2d 1318, 1324, 226 USPQ 758, 762-63 (Fed. Cir. 1985) (superseded by statute with respect to issues not relevant here) (invention was adequately disclosed for purposes of enablement even though all of the circuitry of a word processor was not disclosed, since the undisclosed circuitry was deemed inconsequential because it did not pertain to the claimed circuit); In re Phillips, 608 F.2d 879, 882-83, 203 USPQ 971, 975 (CCPA 1979) (computerized method of generating printed architectural specifications dependent on use of glossary of predefined standard phrases and error-checking feature enabled by overall disclosure generally defining errors); In re Donohue, 550 F.2d 1269, 1271, 193 USPQ 136, 137 (CCPA 1977) ("Employment of block diagrams and descriptions of their functions is not fatal under 35 U.S.C. 112, first paragraph, providing the represented structure is conventional and can be determined without undue experimentation."); In re Knowlton, 481 F.2d 1357, 1366-68, 178 USPQ 486, 493-94 (CCPA 1973) (examiner's contention that a software invention needed a detailed description of all the circuitry in the complete hardware system reversed).

[69] See In re Naquin, 398 F.2d 863, 866, 158 USPQ 317, 319 (CCPA 1968) ("When an invention, in its different aspects, involves distinct arts, that specification is adequate which enables the adepts of each art, those who have the best chance of being enabled, to carry out the aspect proper to their specialty."); Ex parte Zechnall, 194 USPQ 461, 461 (Bd. App. 1973) ("appellants' disclosure must be held sufficient if it would enable a person skilled in the electronic computer art, in cooperation with a person skilled in the fuel injection art, to make and use appellants' invention").

[70] See In re Scarbrough, 500 F.2d 560, 565, 182 USPQ 298, 301-02 (CCPA 1974) ("It is not enough that a person skilled in the art, by carrying on investigations along the line indicated in the instant application, and by a great amount of work eventually might find out how to make and use the instant invention. The statute requires the application itself to inform, not to direct others to find out for themselves (citation omitted)."); Knowlton, 481 F.2d at 1367, 178 USPQ at 493 (disclosure must constitute more than a "sketchy explanation of flow diagrams or a bare group of program listings together with a reference to a proprietary computer on which they might be run"). See also In re Gunn, 537 F.2d 1123, 1127-28, 190 USPQ 402, 405 (CCPA 1976); In re Brandstadter, 484 F.2d 1395, 1406-07, 17 USPQ 286, 294 (CCPA 1973); and In re Ghiron, 442 F.2d 985, 991, 169 USPQ 723, 727-28 (CCPA 1971).

[71] Cf. In re Gulack, 703 F.2d 1381, 1385, 217 USPQ 401, 404 (Fed. Cir. 1983) (when descriptive material is not functionally related to the substrate, the descriptive material will not distinguish the invention from the prior art in terms of patentability).


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