As a supplement to the “instructions” discussed in my last post, the PTO has now provided a compact slideshow to Examiners to assist them in evaluating claims for statutorily patentable machines, processes or compostions of matter. Ironically,the flowcharts are a nearly perfect example of an attempt to embody abstract thoughts in words. As in the instruction materials, chem and biotech processes or methods are not mentioned or exemplified, except via “naked” identifiers like natural phenomena and laws of nature. It will be interesting to see the spillover into chem/biotech by Examiners who want to appear to be cutting-edge in cutting back patent protection for medical subject matter.
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