An abstract idea

(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.

See also: Abstract

References in classic literature ?
They labor for an abstract idea; they heap together all the atoms of their power, to from a single man; and round this man, with the sweat of their labor, they create a misty halo, which his genius shall, in turn, render a glory gilded with the rays of all the crowns in Christendom.
Call it what you will, your countrymen are sensible fellows; they make a marketable article of what to you is an abstract idea; they have, ere this, sold their social greatness and also their blood-earned freedom to be the servants of foreign kings."
But a command is an abstract idea, and it seemed a sort of "lesser marvel" till it flashed upon me that it involved the concrete existence of a ship.
Telling a producer they should find pain is not a process; it is an abstract idea. You can't role-play abstract ideas.
In step 2A, the claim must be analyzed to determine whether the claim at issue is "directed to" a law of nature, a natural phenomenon or an abstract idea. The "directed to" inquiry must be considered in light of the specification, and based on whether the character of the claim as a whole is directed to a judicial exception.
Touching the world is no longer an abstract idea, but a concrete action that reveals how everything we do affects everyone around us.
Apply a judicial exception (i.e., an abstract idea, a law of nature or phenomenon) to effect a particular treatment for a disease or medical condition;
101 because the asserted claims are directed to an abstract idea and are patent-ineligible.
2347 (2014), the Supreme Court explained that all decisions of patent eligibility should be made using a two-step inquiry, asking (1) whether the patent claim at issue covers an abstract idea and, if so, (2) whether the patent adds something extra that embodies an inventive concept.
The Alice decision established that a claim directed to an abstract idea does not transform that abstraction into a patent-eligible invention by merely requiring generic computer implementation.
because the invention was an abstract idea and not a patent-eligible