Janke v. Vidal (Supreme Court 2023)
Some of you may know Oregon patent attorney Garth Janke. Janke’s new petition for certiorari offers a philosophical inquiry into the scope of patent eligibility. It all started with Janke’s invention of an improved leaf rake, which the USPTO found patentable. But, Janke also invented a method of manufacture and hit an eligibility roadblock in his attempt to patent aspects of that process. The following three claims are representative:
- 1. A leafrake head product, as described above.
- 21. Installing a mathematical model of the same leaf rake head product defined in Claim 1 on a computer.
- 26. Applying the mathematical model of Claim 21 on a conventional 3D printer to result in making the same leaf rake head product defined in Claim 1.
The USPTO found claims 21 and 26 directed to abstract ideas and that judgment was affirmed on appeal. Now, Janke has petitioned the US Supreme Court for certiorari with the following two questions:
- Can a known patentable product become ineligible for patenting when it is claimed to be made by applying a mathematical model of the product on a 3D
- Can it be too much patent “monopoly” to preempt (in practical effect) a mathematical model of a product, as no one is disputing follows from Gottschalk v. Benson, when it is known that it is not too much patent monopoly to pre-empt the real product itself?