The recent United States Supreme Court decision in Bilski v. Kappos answers this question. From that decision, the United States Patent and Trademark Office issued a guide for patent examiners. The guide provides a list of factors that a patent examiner are to evaluate.
Factors that weigh toward patentability are:
1. Recitation of a machine or transformation, either express or inherent;
2. The claim is directed toward applying a law of nature; and
3. The claim is more than a mere statement of a concept.
Factors weighing against patentability are:
1. No recitation or an insufficient recitation of a machine or transformation, either express or inherent;
2. The claim is not directed to an application of a law of nature;
3. The claim is a mere statement of a general concept.
Contact The Patent Law Office of Robert J. Sayfie if you have any questions, at 1-888-468-0444, or visit http://www.sayfiepatents.com/.