Patent owners and innovators continue to push for statutory reform of the doctrine of subject matter eligibility — with the primary goal of repudiating recent Supreme Court precedent of Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 566 U.S. 66 (2012) and Alice Corp. Pty. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014).
Several bar associations and groups presented their proposed revisions. That approach, however, was something of a stumbling block for the initiatives. Although there was generalized unity, there has not been unity on the specifics. That is slowly changing with AIPLA, IPO, and NYIPLA all on-board with roughly the same proposal:
35 U.S.C. § 101—Inventions Patentable
(a) Eligible Subject Matter.—Whoever invents or discovers any useful process, machine, manufacture, composition of matter, or any useful improvement thereof, shall be entitled to a patent therefor, subject only to the conditions and requirements set forth in this title.
(b) Sole Exceptions to Subject Matter Eligibility.—A claimed invention is ineligible under subsection (a) only if the claimed invention as a whole exists in nature independent of and prior to any human activity, or can be performed solely in the human mind.
(c) Sole Eligibility Standard.—The eligibility of a claimed invention under subsections (a) and (b) shall be determined without regard to the requirements or conditions of sections 102, 103, and 112 of this title, the manner in which the claimed invention was made or discovered, or whether the claimed invention includes an inventive concept.
Here, the term “claimed invention” does not mean what might suggest — an invention that has been claimed in a patent or patent application. Rather, the term “claimed invention” is narrowly defined as “the subject matter defined by a claim in a patent or an application for a patent.” 35 U.S.C. 100(j). In other words, the “claimed invention” is what is claimed to be the invention.
Of course, the next step will be much more difficult for proponents of the legislation – getting Congress to act.