Claim 1 for example read as follows:
1. A method for controlling a parameter of at least one signal, including the steps of:The examiner had rejected this claim and dependent claims as being directed to non-statutory subject matter.
receiving a desired command signal from at least one control input;
determining a potential condition for receiving an undesired command signal from at least one other control input;
adjusting a parameter of an undesired command signal received from the at least one other control input in response to the potential condition; and
delivering the desired command signal and the undesired command signal to at least one output.
The examiner's wrong
The examiner, according to the Appellants, had said the "signal" of the claims is an abstract idea. In making this observation the examiner was asserting that a "signal" is not a physical object and that the claimed subject matter is not a practical application thereof.
No legal or factual basis was provided to support this allegation.
The Board agrees
The examiner's rejection, said the Board, provides no explanation as to why a claim that recites process steps and non-abstract physical elements (for example a control input such as a joystick or lever) is directed to non-statutory subject matter on the sole basis that the claim also recites an abstraction (for example a signal) as a portion of a claim.
In other words, it's okay to have both abstract and non-abstract elements in a claim.
The hearing didn't go entirely in the Appellants' favour. The Board went on to uphold anticipation and obviousness rejections against many of the claims.
Photo courtesy of author aliag under Creative Commons licence.