The idea of physicalizing educational concepts to create visualizations seems to be a mental process. Patent Application: http://www.google.com/patents/US20130224715 seems to fail the requirement of being novel.

  1. Was this application accepted as a patent?
  2. What makes the content in this application patentable when prior art shows that their ideas have been created before such as with Abelson and diSessa's turtle geometry in 1986

1 Answer 1


At this point it is an application for a patent that has not yet been examined. I agree that much of it is abstractly worded; that can be a good thing for an inventor as long as the claimed invention itself is not an abstract idea.

The claims do not seem to be a mental process to me. They are all dependent upon claim 1 and that claim involve servers and clients and rendering - things carried out by machines. The applicants acknowledge learning by mapping concepts to physical metaphors is old. To clarify what do do think is new, in the spec. they claim that combining gamification, a physical mapping metaphor and having the learning tied to a specific curriculum is new.

As a former Logo and turtle hobbyist I would say I found recursive drawing fun, but it is not what most people would call a game and I think the people involved with it would not say they were doing something tied to a specific, existing curriculum.

To the extent that they may have something new and non-obvious and not abstract, I would say the existing claim set does not seem terribly artful at first look.

  • Great answer - thanks. I agree, the claim is not so much a mental process as something I thought might be obvious. I am very curious about educational technology/learning patents so seeing whether something like this is accepted will be interesting.
    – aboakye
    Nov 6, 2013 at 17:20
  • It may well be not novel or obvious. One would need to do a search to have much of an opinion on that.
    – George White
    Nov 6, 2013 at 17:30

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