Fariba Sirjani is a primary patent examiner at the United States Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria, VA. She holds M.S. degrees in Agricultural Engineering and Electrical Engineering from the University of California at Davis and a J.D. from Arizona State University. Prior to joining the USPTO, she worked as a patent attorney drafting and prosecuting patent applications in various areas of electrical and mechanical arts and before obtaining a law degree she conducted mathematical modeling of groundwater flow and contaminant transport as well as air dispersion modeling for engineering consulting firms.
“Mathematical Formulas and Relationships” fall under the “Abstract Idea” exception to the categories of patentable subject matter. Characterizing the “Mathematical Formulas and Relationships” as “Abstract Ideas” has led to misrepresentation of mathematical concepts in patent law. A “Mathematical Formula or Relationship” is a means of expression and should be inspected to extract what it expresses. Next, the content that is being expressed may be evaluated to determine whether the “Mathematical Formula or Relationship” is expressing a “Tool” or a “Model,” both of which are used for building machines and devising technological processes and neither of which needs to be categorically excepted from patentability.