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The PTAB held that the algorithm which performs the task of classifying the images can also be done manually or mentally and therefore “ are whether such an algorithm creates a special purpose MRI apparatus and whether the new apparatus is described with “particularity” and “improved functionality”? 112), particularly where the claim here specifically is drafted to cover a machine.
These issues, however, are best handled when determining the sufficiency of the disclosure (i.e., 35 U. Itagaki’s claim-1 reads as follows: an image acquisition unit configured to divide an imaging region of an object to be examined into a plurality of stations of respective station positions, and acquire a plurality of images having different image types for each station, while moving a table on which the object is mounted, station by station;a classification processing unit configured to classify the plurality of images by image types and station position, based on imaging condition including imaging parameters, wherein the display control unit displays the plurality of images by image types in spatial order of station positions, based on the classification result by the classification processing unit. Kuriappan Alappat, an employee of Tektronix had devised an anti-aliasing algorithm that improved the appearance of the display.
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It also raises questions about how the PTAB could have properly conducted an obviousness review if the classification unit was so abstract as to be infirm from a patent eligibility point of view.
In conclusion, on one hand, the claims appear to pass the , in general terms.
From this point onwards, after determining that a claim is drawn to statutory subject matter, any invention involving an abstract idea will be examined in two additional steps: (1) whether a claim is directed to an abstract idea; and (2) whether a claim amounts to be “” than just implementing an abstract idea. The key aspect of the invention, as described by inventors, is the classifying and rearranging the plurality of images acquired by multi-station imaging in a MRI apparatus. The panel held that the invention was directed to an abstract idea of classifying the images.The PTO held that the computer instructions to carryout mathematical algorithm were not eligible for patents under section 101 despite involving tangible machinery such as an oscilloscope.However, the Federal Circuit held differently, stating that “we have held that such programming creates a new machine, because a general purpose computer in effect becomes a special purpose computer once it is programmed to perform particular functions pursuant to instructions from program software decisions, the Itagaki MRI apparatus, which used an algorithm, should have been been properly treated as a “special purpose apparatus” weighing towards patent-eligibility under section 101 despite involving an abstract idea.Moreover, if the claim does overcome the examiner’s obviousness rejection it is difficult to understand the PTAB panel’s statements regarding conventionality.When addressing the issue of generality , in general terms in the claim.
In essence, these two decisions recognized the problems with two-step framework of .