In re Toma (575 F.2d 872, 1978 May 18)

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[ALGORITHM] {1} First, we hold that the method for enabling a computer to translate natural languages is in the technological arts, i. e., it is a method of operating a machine. The "technological" or "useful" arts inquiry must focus on whether the claimed subject matter (a method of operating a machine to translate) is statutory, not on whether the product of the claimed subject matter (a translated text) is statutory, not on whether the prior art which the claimed subject matter purports to replace (translation by human mind) is statutory, and not on whether the claimed subject matter is presently perceived to be an improvement over the prior art, e.g., whether it "enhances" the operation of a machine. This was the law prior to Benson and was not changed by Benson.


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