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To what kinds of thing should the patent system apply is a question that has troubled the US courts since the middle of the 19th century. The grandiose dreams or delusions of Samuel Morse brought the question to the Supreme Court in 1850, when the validity of his patent on the telegraph was challenged. The author traces developments in the Court's decisions on patent eligibility from that case to the present, focusing particularly on the patentability of software and processes.
law, patents, software, patent eligibility, device-implementation test, business methods, PTO

R. Stern, "What Kinds of Computer-Software-Related Advances (if Any) Are Eligible for Patents? Part I," in IEEE Micro, vol. 28, no. , pp. 96, 91-95, 2008.
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