algorithm.Patents. A mathematical or logical process consisting of a series of steps, designed
to solve a specific type of problem. • Algorithms were long considered abstract ideas and therefore
unpatentable subject matter. But in 1998, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit found
valid a patent on financial software as “a practical application of a mathematical algorithm [that]
produces a useful, concrete and tangible result.” State St. Bank & Trust Co. v. Signature Fin.
Group, 149 F.3d 1368, 1373 (Fed. Cir. 1998). That precedent makes it easier to patent computer
software, which consists almost entirely of algorithms. [Cases: Patents 6. C.J.S. Patents §§
26–27.] [Blacks Law 8th]