MPEP Q & A 248: What are the enumerated groupings of abstract ideas defined as?



What are the enumerated groupings of abstract ideas defined as?


The enumerated groupings of abstract ideas are defined as:

  • 1) Mathematical concepts – mathematical relationships, mathematical formulas or equations, mathematical calculations;
  • 2) Certain methods of organizing human activity – fundamental economic principles or practices (including hedging, insurance, mitigating risk); commercial or legal interactions (including agreements in the form of contracts; legal obligations; advertising, marketing or sales activities or behaviors; business relations); managing personal behavior or relationships or interactions between people (including social activities, teaching, and following rules or instructions); and
  • 3) Mental processes – concepts performed in the human mind (including an observation, evaluation, judgment, opinion).

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 10.2019. 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 come from section 2106.04(a) of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 2106.04(a).

2106.04(a)    Abstract Ideas

This section covers abstract ideas. The courts have declined to define abstract ideas. Instead, they have often identified abstract ideas by referring to earlier precedent, e.g., by comparing a claimed concept to the concepts previously identified as abstract ideas by the courts.

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