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In re Roman Gitlin

Representative Claim

4. A method for efficiently implementing a multi-dimensional interpolation in any number of dimensions, the method comprising implementing processing said interpolation’s third interpolation input as a recursion.

Posture:

Appeal from the United States Patent and Trademark Office, Patent Trial and Appeal Board in No. 12/766,889.

Abstract Idea: Yes

The Federal Circuit confirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s Step One determination that the claims were “directed to an abstract idea—i.e., a mathematical concept, without an inventive concept.” In explanation, the opinion states:

“[Appellee] cites an encyclopedia to show that interpolation is a mathematical concept . . . [Appellant] does not provide any evidence to the contrary.

The Supreme Court has established that a mathematical concept without more does not constitute patent-eligible subject matter . . . We have previously categorized mathematical algorithms as falling into the abstract-idea category that is ineligible for patent protection under § 101 . . . In the present case, we agree with the Board that representative claim 4 is directed to a mathematical concept.”

Something More: No

The Federal Circuit also confirmed the Patent Trial and Appeal Board’s Step Two determination that “any computer implementation amounted to no more than mere instructions to implement the abstract idea on a computer.” In explanation, the opinion states:

“Some of the claims of the ’889 Application specify that the interpolation is processed as a recursion or tail recursion . . . Some claims specify that the interpolation occurs on a grid . . . Other claims specify that the interpolation occurs in ‘a way’ that decreases the amount of processing necessary to perform the interpolation or in a way that is predicated on certain input, but the claims never explain what that ‘way’ is . . . But merely calling for a mathematical concept to be performed more efficiently or with a particular input does not amount to an application of the mathematical concept that is patent-eligible.

Nor would the claims be eligible if the interpolation was merely implemented on a computer, as the specification indicates, without improving the functioning of the computer or system.”