An American novel invention features a new industrial measurement process and is implemented by configuring COTS (commercial off the shelf) computers and COTS software to measure and calculate a utilitarian result. Hardware is not modded in any way, however, in the course of integrating COTS hardware components, software was developed to control the COTS components and produce the result.


Can more than one 'Statutory Class' be claimed by an invention?

If yes, Which of these Statutory Classes apply and why?

  1. Process: Software processes
  2. Machines
  3. Manufactures
  4. New uses of the above

I believe that a strong argument for line-item 1. In contrast the examples I have see for line-item 3 seem to exclude a COTS measurement process.

With regard to machines classification, if the device can be implemented all COTS parts, is the invention precluded from being classified as a machine, because it is a combination of existing (patented) parts?

  • Just to be clear, you mean in the US? Because it's very different in the EU for example.
    – user18033
    Nov 17, 2017 at 20:24
  • Good question. Yes, the context is in the US: I have updated the question.
    – gatorback
    Nov 17, 2017 at 20:35

1 Answer 1


The requirement for a single statutory class is per claim. Many patents have machine claims, and one or more types of process claims. A method of building the machine, a method of using the machine, and a process carried out by the machine's internal operation are all process claims. "Machine" is a very broad term and would apply to your system regardless of the components all being something you can buy "off the shelf". It is the way the elements are arranged and programmed that would make it a novel and non-obvious machine. Normally the claims would be written to cover both a COTS built version and a custom made version.

A machine claim can be infringed by something sitting on a shelf. To infringe a process claim, someone needs to at least turn it on.

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