All the upsurging interest in computer-operated method claims being Bilski-ed out of existence raised curiosity about whether ‘lip service’ was being paid to the machine-or-tranformation standard.
A search in the published, pending patent applications database yielded 1867 apps, published in 2009, describing a computer and using the claim term “transform.” That total would be reduced by eliminating claims to Fourier operations.
Among the many claimed transformation were the following:
“to transform said plurality of sensitive data values into a plurality of desensitized data”
“transforming through the computer readable storage medium a first operator variable of a first operator”
“to transform the encoded information to a readable format in that the user authenticates himself using a personal code”
Hard to know whether the “transform” limitation is there to particularly point out an essential feature, or was inserted so as to come out on the side of ‘claiming it the way they said to.’ Equally unknown about these apps is whether the intangible data, which is claimed to be part of the transformation, might be “representative of physical objects or substances.” In re Bilski. Let’s leave that inquiry – whether the data refers to a physical article – for some examiner to consider.