米国でデータ構造が特許の対象ではない根拠（2106.01 Computer-Related Nonstatutory Subject Matter）
2106.01 Computer-Related Nonstatutory Subject Matter [R-6]
Descriptive material can be characterized as either “functional descriptive material” or “nonfunctional descriptive material.” In this context, “functional descriptive material” consists of data structures and computer programs which impart functionality when employed as a computer component. (The definition of “data structure” is “a physical or logical relationship among data elements, designed to support specific data manipulation functions.” The New IEEE Standard Dictionary of Electrical and Electronics Terms 308 (5th ed. 1993).) “Nonfunctional descriptive material” includes but is not limited to music, literary works, and a compilation or mere arrangement of data.
I. FUNCTIONAL DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL: “DATA STRUCTURES” REPRESENTING DESCRIPTIVE MATERIAL PER SE OR COMPUTER PROGRAMS REPRESENTING COMPUTER LISTINGS PER SE
Data structures not claimed as embodied in computer-readable media are descriptive material per se and are not statutory because they are not capable of causing functional change in the computer. See, e.g., Warmerdam, 33 F.3d at 1361, 31 USPQ2d at 1760 (claim to a data structure per se held nonstatutory). Such claimed data structures do not define any structural and functional interrelationships between the data structure and other claimed aspects of the invention which permit the data structure’s functionality to be realized. In contrast, a claimed computer-readable medium encoded with a data structure defines structural and functional interrelationships between the data structure and the computer software and hardware components which permit the data structure’s functionality to be realized, and is thus statutory.