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(Metaph.) An idea separated from a complex object, or from other ideas which naturally accompany it; as the solidity of marble when contemplated apart from its color or figure. An abstract idea is unpatentable and copyright law will only protect its expression. It generally, falls in the same categories of natural phenomena and the laws of nature. Under unfair competition, an abstract idea will be protected if it is a trade secret. It may be a subject of protection by contract.

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