MPEP Q & A 261: What is meant by a fundamental economic practice or principle?



What is meant by a fundamental economic practice or principle?


The courts have used the phrases “fundamental economic practices” or “fundamental economic principles” to describe concepts relating to the economy and commerce.

  • Fundamental economic principles or practices include hedging, insurance, and mitigating risks.

The term “fundamental” is not used in the sense of necessarily being “old” or “well-known.”

  • However, being old or well-known may indicate that the practice is fundamental.

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)(2) of the MPEP.  The following is a brief summary of section 2106.04(a)(2).

2106.04(a)(2)    Abstract Idea Groupings

This section covers examples of concepts the courts have identified as abstract ideas.

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