37 CFR 1.96: Submission of computer program listings

Taken from the Ninth Edition of the MPEP, Revision 07.2015, Last Revised in November 2015

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1.96    Submission of computer program listings.

  • (a) General. Descriptions of the operation and general content of computer program listings should appear in the description portion of the specification. A computer program listing for the purpose of this section is defined as a printout that lists in appropriate sequence the instructions, routines, and other contents of a program for a computer. The program listing may be either in machine or machine-independent (object or source) language which will cause a computer to perform a desired procedure or task such as solve a problem, regulate the flow of work in a computer, or control or monitor events. Computer program listings may be submitted in patent applications as set forth in paragraphs (b) and (c) of this section.
  • (b) Material which will be printed in the patent: If the computer program listing is contained in 300 lines or fewer, with each line of 72 characters or fewer, it may be submitted either as drawings or as part of the specification.
    • (1) Drawings. If the listing is submitted as drawings, it must be submitted in the manner and complying with the requirements for drawings as provided in § 1.84. At least one figure numeral is required on each sheet of drawing.
    • (2) Specification.
      • (i) If the listing is submitted as part of the specification, it must be submitted in accordance with the provisions of § 1.52.
      • (ii) Any listing having more than 60 lines of code that is submitted as part of the specification must be positioned at the end of the description but before the claims. Any amendment must be made by way of submission of a substitute sheet.
  • (c) As an appendix which will not be printed: Any computer program listing may, and any computer program listing having over 300 lines (up to 72 characters per line) must, be submitted on a compact disc in compliance with § 1.52(e). A compact disc containing such a computer program listing is to be referred to as a “computer program listing appendix.” The “computer program listing appendix” will not be part of the printed patent. The specification must include a reference to the “computer program listing appendix” at the location indicated in § 1.77(b)(5).
    • (1) Multiple computer program listings for a single application may be placed on a single compact disc. Multiple compact discs may be submitted for a single application if necessary. A separate compact disc is required for each application containing a computer program listing that must be submitted on a “computer program listing appendix.”
    • (2) The “computer program listing appendix” must be submitted on a compact disc that complies with § 1.52(e) and the following specifications (no other format shall be allowed):
      • (i) Computer Compatibility: IBM PC/XT/AT, or compatibles, or Apple Macintosh;
      • (ii) Operating System Compatibility: MS-DOS, MS-Windows, Unix, or Macintosh;
      • (iii) Line Terminator: ASCII Carriage Return plus ASCII Line Feed;
      • (iv) Control Codes: the data must not be dependent on control characters or codes which are not defined in the ASCII character set; and
      • (v) Compression: uncompressed data.
[46 FR 2612, Jan. 12, 1981; para. (b)(1), 54 FR 47519, Nov. 15, 1989, effective Jan. 16, 1990; revised, 61 FR 42790, Aug. 19, 1996, effective Sept. 23, 1996; paras. (b) and (c) revised, 65 FR 54604, Sept. 8, 2000, effective Sept. 8, 2000 (effective date corrected, 65 FR 78958, Dec. 18, 2000; para. (c) introductory text revised, 70 FR 54259, Sept. 14, 2005, effective Sept. 14, 2005]