Friday, February 24, 2012

D. finds non-functional descriptive matter

20111115-NodeXL-Twitter-teaparty network labelsEx Parte D. et al, No. 2009-013829 (BPAI Feb 15, 2012) involved a method of generating network data traffic utilizable in communication systems. LSI Corporation brought US Patent Application 10/620,044 before the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. The Examiner had rejected claims 20 and 21 as being directed to non-statutory subject matter. The Examiner had also rejected other claims based on prior art.

Claim 20 read as follows:
20. An article of manufacture comprising a computer-readable storage medium encoded with one or more data structures comprising information characterizing one or more traffic flows associated with at least one traffic generator, represented as a string which includes a global header followed by one or more frames each having an associated frame header, wherein the global header comprises a clock speed field indicating a clock speed of an associated output interface.
Physical or logical relationship

The Appellants argued the Examiner had got it wrong.

The claimed data structure, said the Appellants, defines a 'physical or logical relationship among data elements'. The claims are therefore drawn to statutory subject matter.

Non-functional descriptive material

The Board disagreed. They found some sympathy with the Examiner that the claims merely recite non-functional descriptive material.

Further steps

The Board sustained the Examiner’s rejection of claims 20 and 21 under 35
U.S.C. § 101.

Photo courtesy of author Marc Smith under Creative Commons licence.

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