Monday, June 25, 2018

Phonetic symbol system fails under 35 USC 101

The outcome of In re Wang:

The invention claimed in the ’680 application relates
to “[a] phonetic symbol system formed by phonetic symbols
using letters of [the] English alphabet.” ’680 application,
Abstract, Appx. 18. The specification distinguishes
the claimed invention from existing phonetic symbol
systems that use diacritic marks and symbols that are not
letters. Id., Appx. 19. Embodiments described in the ’680
application map letters to sounds. Id., Appx. 21–30. For
example, “a” represents the “a” sound in “about,” while “e”
represents the “e” sound in “bed” and “aa” the “a” sound in
“father.” Id., Appx. 21. Claim 1 is illustrative of the
claimed invention.


Because, as explained below, we
agree with the Board that the application claims on
appeal are directed to non-statutory subject matter, we
affirm the Board’s decision. We do not reach the remaining
issues decided by the Board.

No additional inventive concept was found:

Finally, where, as here, claims of a patent application
recite an abstract idea, the question becomes whether
they contain “additional features” that embody an “inventive
concept,” so as to nevertheless make them patenteligible.
Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct.
2347, 2357 (2014) (quoting Mayo Collaborative Servs. v.
Prometheus Labs., Inc., 132 S. Ct. 1289, 1294, 1297
(2012)). The application claims on appeal, however,
contain no “additional features” of any kind embodying an
inventive concept. The claims merely encompass strings
of English letters representing sounds. In short, there is
no inventive concept that rescues them from patent


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