Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Beauregard claim in the context of computer-readable media?
A Beauregard claim, named after a 1995 case, is a type of computer-readable media (CRM) claim. It is a method of organizing a claim that is infringed by a medium with instructions, known as bits, originating from a machine that will execute the steps of what would be a patentable method claim. The rules stipulate that these bits must reside somewhere tangible, such as a compact disc, and cannot simply be transmitted through the air or down a wire. This implies that software programs, when stored on a tangible medium, can be patented. However, the Federal Circuit's decision in the case of In re Nuijten undermined Beauregard claims by stating that transitory propagating signals were not patent-eligible. These signals do not fall into any of the four statutory categories of patent-eligibility: process, machine, manufacture, or composition. As a result, David Kappos, director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, advised patent applicants to direct all software claims to non-transitory computer-readable media to avoid the issues raised by In re Nuijten.
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