Statutory Subject Matter

35 U.S.C. 101 recites the four primary statutory classes of subject matter as any new and useful 1) process; 2) machine; 3) manufacture; or 4) composition of matter. Also included is any new and useful improvement of such process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter. A process includes the steps of a method, without restriction to any particular structure, and pursuant to 35 U.S.C. 100, a process also includes a new use of a known process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter. A manufacture is an article of manufacture and includes any man-made object. A composition of matter refers to a chemical invention. Printed matter is not included in the recitation of patentable subject matter and is therefore not patentable. A pure business idea is not patentable, but a new, useful and nonobvious business method may be patentable. However, only about one-third of business method patent applications are approved by the PTO.

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