The Court of Customs and Patent Appeals has held that the mere fact that elements of a claimed method for the reduction of data may be accomplished using the mind or a general purpose digital computer properly programmed does not invalidate the claim as a process within the meaning of 15 U.S.C. § 101. The court has further raised substantial doubt as to the unpatentability of "mental step" claims generally and has applied the distinction of functions occurring in nature being accomplished by methods outside nature to mental functions.
In re Prater, United States Court of Customs and Patent Appeals, Nov. 20, 1968.
E. K. Pollock,
Patents - Patentable Subject Matter,
Duq. L. Rev.
Available at: https://dsc.duq.edu/dlr/vol7/iss3/10