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Glossaries

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35 U.S.C. §101

35 U.S.C. § 101 sets forth the "subject matter" requirement as an initial threshold to patentability, which states that any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof may qualify for a patent. Over time, the courts have interpreted these categories to exclude  three judicial exceptions, including: laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas. Practically speaking, generally if an invention falls under one of the categories, and does not fall into a judicial exception, then it passes the 101 test.

35 U.S.C. §102

35 U.S.C. § 102 sets forth the "novelty" requirement as a condition for patentability, which states that an invention must be new. In practical terms, this generally means that if a patent examiner can find all elements of an invention described in a printed publication, then a 102 rejection will be issued by the USPTO.

35 U.S.C. §103

35 U.S.C. § 103 sets forth the "obviousness" requirement as a condition for patentability, which states that an invention must be non-obvious. In practical terms, this generally means that if a patent examiner can find all elements of an invention described in two or more printed publications and these publications relate to the same field of endeavor, then a 103 rejection will be issued by the USPTO.