MPEP 2106.06(a)
Eligibility is Self Evident

Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2022, Last Revised in February 2023

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2106.06(a)    Eligibility is Self Evident [R-08.2017]

A streamlined eligibility analysis can be used for a claim that may or may not recite a judicial exception but, when viewed as a whole, clearly does not seek to tie up any judicial exception such that others cannot practice it. Such claims do not need to proceed through the full analysis herein as their eligibility will be self-evident. On the other hand, a claim that does not qualify as eligible after Step 2B of the full analysis would not be suitable for the streamlined analysis, because the claim lacks self‐evident eligibility.

For instance, a claim directed to a complex manufactured industrial product or process that recites meaningful limitations along with a judicial exception may sufficiently limit its practical application so that a full eligibility analysis is not needed. As an example, a robotic arm assembly having a control system that operates using certain mathematical relationships is clearly not an attempt to tie up use of the mathematical relationships and would not require a full analysis to determine eligibility. Also, a claim that recites a nature-based product, but clearly does not attempt to tie up the nature-based product, does not require a markedly different characteristics analysis to identify a "product of nature" exception. As an example, a claim directed to an artificial hip prosthesis coated with a naturally occurring mineral is not an attempt to tie up the mineral. Similarly, claimed products that merely include ancillary nature-based components, such as a claim that is directed to a cellphone with an electrical contact made of gold or a plastic chair with wood trim, would not require analysis of the nature-based component to determine whether the claims are directed to a "product of nature" exception because such claims do not attempt to improperly tie up the nature-based product.