MPEP Q & A 154: What Does the Broadest Reasonable Interpretation (BRI) Do?

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Question:

What does the broadest reasonable interpretation (BRI) do?

Answer:

The BRI sets the boundaries of the coverage sought by the claim and will influence whether the claim seeks to cover subject matter that is beyond the four statutory categories or encompasses subject matter that falls within the exceptions.

Chapter Details:

The answer to this question can be found in chapter 2100 of the MPEP. This chapter covers Patentability.

The answer is from the 9th Edition, Revision 08.2017. Depending on future changes to the MPEP, the question and answer may or may not be applicable in later Editions or revisions.

Section Summary:

This question and answer comes from section 2106 of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 2106.

2106 Subject Matter Eligibility

This section discusses the two criteria for subject matter eligibility which are; that the claimed invention must be in one of the four statutory categories and that the claimed invention must also qualify as patent-eligible subject matter. It also covers details of the broadest reasonable interpretation (BRI) including that the BRI of the claim must be established prior to examining a claim for eligibility. Lastly, there is a summary of the patent subject matter eligibility analysis and a flowchart outlining the steps.