"The question of whether software is patentable dates back to the 1970s. The United States Patent and Trade Mark Office (USPTO) historically had been reluctant to grant patents on inventions relating to computer software. Their rationale was that patents could only be granted to processes, machines, and articles of manufacture and compositions of matter. Patents could not be granted to scientific truths or mathematical expressions of it. The USPTO viewed computer programs and inventions containing or relating to computer programs as mere mathematical algorithms, and not processes or machines."