CITE: 146 USPQ 590 CMON: September 1964 PLAIN: King and Barton DEFND: United States Patent and Trademark Office COURT: Patent Office Board of Appeals DATE: September 10, 1964 HISTORY: Appeal from PTO Group 240. Application for patent of Paul D. King and Robert Barton, Serial Number 84,156, filed 23 January 1961. From decision rejecting claims 1 to 3 and 11, applicants appeal. AFFIRMED. SUMMARY: Novel and non-obvious computer programs are patentable. A computer program turns a general purpose computer into a specific purpose computer. JUDGE: Andrews, Acting Examiner in Chief Before Friedman and Kreek, Examiners in Chief, and Andrews, Acting Examiner in Chief DECISION: This is an appeal from the final rejection of claims 1, 2, 3 and 11. Claims 4, 5, 6, 10 and 15 stand allowed. Claim 1 is reproduced as illustrative: 1. A digital processing machine comprising means for storing a string of digitally coded program syllables, the syllables being of at least two separate coded types designated by specified bits in each syllable, the two types of syllables occurring in any desired sequential combinations, additional specified bits in each program syllable designating an operation for a first syllable type and designating an address of an operand for a second syllable type, a first register for storing at least one of the program syllables, means for transferring program syllables from the syllable storing means to the first register in a predetermined sequence, addressable storage means for storing operands in addressable locations, a temporary storage facility including automatic addressing means for automatically storing all of any large number of operands in the order in which they are received by the facility and for always reading out the succession of operands in the reverse order in which they are received, the temporary storage including two registers in which the last two operands in the order received by the facility are stored, means responsive to the address designation bits of a second syllable type when stored in said first register for transferring the operand from the address in the addressable storage means established by the address designation bits in the program register to the temporary storage facility, an arithmetic unit including said two registers in the temporary storage facility, and automatic control means responsive to the operation designation bits of a first syllable type when stored in the program register for transferring the operands in the two registers through the arithmetic unit to initiate an operation in the arithmetic unit on the operands stored in said two registers, transferring the result of the operation to the first one of said two registers, and automatically placing an operand in the second one of said two registers from a location in the temporary storage facility in the reverse order in which the operands were received into the facility, whereby the contents of the temporary storage facility are reduced by one by the operation and the result stored as the last operand placed in the temporary storage facility. The reference relied on by the examiner is: Ross et al., 2,914,248, 24 November 1959. The subject matter on appeal is a digital computer which is arranged to mathematically process data stored in the computer. The processing is performed in accordance with a system of denoting mathematical expressions free of parenthetical groupings already known to mathematicians as the Polish Notation. The essential details of appellants' apparatus are set forth in the brief. The reference is adequately described in the brief when considered with the examiner's further explanation in the Answer. The appeals claims stand rejected as unpatentable over Ross et al. since the examiners finds the claims to set forth no more structure of a computer than is to be found in Ross et al. when supplied with a stored program designed to carry out the appropriate sequence of mathematical operations. The examiner regards a stored program in a computer as constituting no more than a statement of the operation of or the process carried out by apparatus set forth in the claims and not as a basis of patentable distinction thereover. Appellants contend that the Ross et al. computer fails to anticipate the claims because it does not have or teach means to carry out the mode of operation equivalent to the one claimed and even if the claims would respond to the computer when programmed to carry out the operations defined, such special programming is not suggested by the art. From the examiner's detailed application of the reference to each of the claims on appeal to which reference is made it appears that apparatus operating on particular stored data through a particular stored program is regarded by him as patentably no different than a computer, absent such data and program. In other words, if the difference between a general purpose computer and the claims to a special purpose computer can be supplied by merely placing a suitable program in a general purpose machine then the examiner would deny a patent even though the art contained no suggestion for the preparation of such a program. We do not agree. To deny patent protection to a novel structure it must be shown that the same was obvious at the time the invention was made. A program for a computer which is not made obvious by the prior art but only by appellants' disclosure is not available to teach appellants' invention. Since most general purpose computers have the recognized capability of simulating operations of many other computers or machines by suitable programming, this fact should afford no basis for a denial on all future novel computer configurations which the art does not make obvious. However, the claims on appeal are not directed to the novel configuration of a computer which can process data expressed in Polish Notation but on the contrary the appealed claims merely set forth the result or function accomplished by any computer operating on data in Polish Notation. The claims refer to the various registers and storage facilities not by their structure but by the meaning that has been arbitrarily assigned to bit patterns of the data stored in the computer in such facilities. The automatic control means is defined in the claims only as that which will carry out a mathematical regimen, long familiar to mathematicians, of using operator instructions to properly group the operands. Appellants emphasize that the art does not teach the reading in and reading out of the operands in reverse order. This is merely claiming the result or function to be accomplished by routine application of the rules for handling data expressed in Polish Notation which notation appellants acknowledge in the specification was not novel with him but was the work of another. Thus we support the examiner's rejection of claims 1, 2, 3 and 11 as distinguishing over Ross et al. only to the extent of calling for that which achieves a particular result or operation, i.e., "processing by Polish Notation", not through any novel structure set out in the claims but merely by the routine operation of storage and processing means normally found in stored program computers. The rejection of claims 1, 2, 3 and 11 is sustained. The decision of the examiner is AFFIRMED.