No Man's Formula: Following Hello Games' Patent Concerns
Law360, New York (August 17, 2016, 12:39 PM EDT) -- Under United States law, a patent may be issued for "any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof," with courts making clear that the scope of potential patent protection excludes "laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas." Even original statements of such ideas — including Einstein's famous law E=mc2 — cannot be patented. However, while a pure mathematical formula is not eligible for a patent, "an application of a law of nature or mathematical formula to a known structure or process may well be deserving of patent protection." The nebulous boundaries of this distinction are highly relevant in a recent controversy involving a unique and highly anticipated video game and its possible use of a patented mathematical equation known as the Superformula....
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