The examiner concluded the claims were directed to the abstract idea of rules for playing a game, which fell within the realm of methods of organizing human activities. The examiner further found the claims were unpatentable as obviousness over old and well known to dice games, applying the printed matter doctrine… Marco also contended that its claimed method of playing a dice game could not be an abstract idea because it recites a physical game with physical steps. The Court rejected this argument “because the abstract idea exception does not turn solely on whether the claimed invention comprises physical versus mental steps.” Since the only arguably unconventional aspect of the recited method of playing a dice game was found to be printed matter, thus falling outside the scope of § 101, the rejected claims did not recite an “inventive concept” sufficient to “transform” the claimed subject matter into a patent-eligible application of the abstract idea.
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