My patent application for a cognitive phenomenological method to identify placebo responders and response shifters before they enroll into a clinical trial is again moving forward. It was rejected by the USPTO based in great part on their mistaken opinion that the method related to susceptibility to hypnosis – which would have made it an obvious method and so not eligible for patenting – though it has nothing at all to do with hypnotic susceptibility, suggestibility or, for that matter, expectation of certain symptoms or behaviors. The method has more to do with behavioral economics and the differrence between what one thinks about their symptoms and what they actually experience – Armel and Ramachandran have referred to a similar cognitive process as “Bayesian perceptual learning.”
A Request for Continued Examination of the patent application was submitted on July 24, 2017 so the application is back in the hands of the USPTO.
Those interested in supporting the continuing development are welcomed to contact me for details.