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By James Korenchan -- Navigating the post-Alice patent-eligibility landscape with graphical user interface GUI claims can be trying, particularly when fighting to maintain desirable breadth.
As with all software-related claims, limitations must raise GUI claims and other types of UI claims, for that matter beyond fundamental designs and implementations, root the invention in computer technology, and provide a specific, innovative solution to a technological problem.
In the past four years, the Federal Circuit has provided some guidance for GUI claims, perhaps most notable being the recent Core Wireless decision. In Core Wireless, the Court essentially stated that, to overcome the scrutiny of 35 U.
Still, despite efforts to meet these requirements, practitioners can find themselves faced with rejections citing various cases such as Internet Patents Corp.
In May, for instance, the PTAB affirmed the patent-ineligibility of claims directed to a GUI display for use in locating buried or otherwise inaccessible "utility lines," such as pipes and other conduits, cables, transmitters, etc.
The patent application U. The application went on to note Rpi thesis submission there still exist unresolved problems in the field, and the claimed GUI was one of a handful of proposed solutions. For example, the application described the claimed GUI as incorporating "intuitive" displays that more accurately display representations of signal quality to a user so that no Rpi thesis submission exists as to whether sensor data indicates that a utility line has been found.
However, claim 1, shown as follows, did not appear to sufficiently convey any alleged improvement to GUI display or to the determination of the displayed information. A graphical user interface GUI display method in a portable locator system for locating a utility line coupled to a phase-encoded modulated electromagnetic EM reference signal, the method comprising the steps of: In rejecting this claim, the Examiner deemed the claim to be directed to an abstract idea of an algorithm for measuring and determining a direction of current flow, and cited both Diamond v.
Diehr and Electric Power Group. And with regard to Electric Power Group, the Board equated the "measuring" step to data gathering, equated the middle two steps as processing gathered data, and deemed the display of current flow direction to be an insufficient post-solution activity.
The Appellants further asserted that the claims use this alleged improved process to in turn improve the technology of providing a visual representation of detected buried utilities. Still, the Examiner and the Board did not waver on step one of Alice.
In addition, the Board found no additional features sufficient for elevating the claim to the realm of patent-eligibility. In June, the PTAB also affirmed the patent-ineligibility of claims directed to a GUI that allows medical personnel to document medical procedures and automatically generate billing information for the procedures.
Claim 1 is provided as a representative example. A non-transitory computer-readable medium having stored thereon sequences of instructions which, when executed by at least one processor, cause the at least one processor to: In particular, that Appellants stated in their reply brief that: Claim 1, however, recites a much more detailed set of features that provide a comprehensive solution to documenting medical procedures in a visual manner e.
Such features provide medical personnel with a comprehensive visual representation, along with text and billing codes. Instead, the Appellants restated the above-noted improvements to the field of documenting and billing medical procedures, and then proceeded to unsuccessfully argue that the claimed features are not well understood, routine, and conventional because there was no prior art rejection of claim 1.
The Board very quickly dismissed these arguments. Had the Appellants cited to the specification in step two and tied described advantages to particular claim limitations, they might have set themselves off on a better foot with the Board and possibly with the Examinerthough it is difficult to say whether this would have been persuasive.
In particular, in U. The application describes that coding has traditionally been done manually, and that the auditing of coding results is heavily dependent on human skills and prone to human error.
The claimed GUI method thus aims to make the auditing and scoring process less complex and reduce errors. Representative claim 37 is provided as follows: A method of evaluating coded medical documents performed by a computer, the method comprising:Buick Achievers Scholarship Program The Buick Achievers Scholarship Program, funded by the GM Foundation, is designed to help students who are leaders in both the classroom and their communities, but who may not have the financial means to attend college.
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