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For many years, patent law has struggled with the question of whether a series of thoughts can be patented. Under the mental steps doctrine, the answer was no. More recently, the answer has been maybe, it depends. The United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which has exclusive jurisdiction over all patent appeals, recently revisited the issue in the newly minted case of In re Bilski. Generally, the mental steps doctrine states that an invention is not entitled to patent protection if it involves only mental steps. The mental steps doctrine addresses the threshold question concerning whether the invention constitutes patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. §101 (i.e., whether the invention falls within the types of thing that can be patented). Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.