The following comes from the Amy Coney Barrett Senate Confirmation Hearing Day 3 Transcript
Senator Tillis: (54:08)
I was talking with Senator Coons, who is the ranking member on a committee that I chair, a sub-committee here on intellectual property. We’ve done a lot of work and we’re working on a bipartisan bicameral basis. And I have to thank Senator Blumenthal for probably being one of the more active members in this committee. I think it’s an area where we really are working on a bipartisan basis.
Moving to [an] area that’s been addressed on the committee on intellectual property and patent law eligibility. As chairman of the subcommittee, I’m really interested in protecting the intellectual property of the American innovation economy. There’s no question that we’re the leader in the world. But in recent years we’ve seen a lot of Supreme Court cases that have waded into patent eligibility, producing a series of opinions that have really muddled the waters. And in some cases, I agree with the decision but I worry about the methodology that they used to get there. So, I’m curious about your thoughts. In my committee, we’ve talked about specific cases that we could potentially abrogate if we could get bipartisan support and we’re in those discussions. But what are your thoughts on the Supreme Court’s rulings on patent eligibility? And do you think that the court should go back and clarify at least the method that they use to reach their opinion?
Amy Coney Barrett: (57:01)
So, without commenting on any particular cases, which actually I have to be completely honest and confess to, I can’t think of what particular cases you might be thinking of in the patent eligibility. But without commenting on those cases in any event, I think I would say that clarity in decision-making is always something that courts should strive for. And I know on the seventh circuit, we try and I’m trying to be attuned to in writing opinions, whether it gives good guidance to lower courts and then to also those who are trying to order their conduct in compliance with the law. So, I think clarity is certainly a virtue in this context.
Senator Tillis: (57:38)
And I think that we’re working, like I said, on a bipartisan bicameral basis to help or do it on our part. Copyright law and technology is other area that we’ve focused quite a bit on. I think I had one witness say that our current laws are MySpace laws in a TikTok world. There’s a lot of changes that have occurred. And we feel like there’s a need for us to maybe move forward with some clarity and some protections. The Supreme Court has spent more than a century answering questions about whether copyright law covers new technologies like cameras, player pianos, moving pictures, the list goes on, several internet enabled technologies. Do you think that the Supreme Court is the best institution to answer these questions or is that a role Congress should play?
Amy Coney Barrett: (58:29)
Most of the things you’re identifying sound to me like matters of policy. And so, those seem like matters that are best addressed by the legislature, a democratically elected body, not policy made by courts.