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Frequently Asked Questions

What does the term "non-transitory" refer to in the context of computer-readable media?

The term "non-transitory" in the context of computer-readable media (CRM) refers to a type of CRM that stores data for short periods or when power is present, such as a memory device or Random Access Memory (RAM). This term first appeared in the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) training material in 2009, indicating that transitory signals are not eligible for patenting. In the United States, patent eligibility is granted to new and useful processes, machines, manufactures, or compositions of matter. However, the courts have adjusted the definition of patent-eligible subject matter over time to accommodate recent technical advancements. These adjustments are known as judicially recognized exceptions, which include abstract ideas, laws of nature, natural phenomena, mental processes, mathematical algorithms, and scientific principles. A CRM claim, also known as a Beauregard claim, is a way of organizing a patent claim. It is infringed by a medium with instructions called bits, which come from a machine that will carry out the steps of a patentable method claim. The bits must reside somewhere tangible, such as a compact disc, meaning that software programs stored on a tangible medium can be patented.

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