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In recent years, one of the most important and controversial developments in U.S. patent law relates to the standard for whether an invention is “patent eligible,” or in other words, whether an invention falls within the scope of subject matter that is capable of being patented. Through the late 1990s and into the 2000s, for most kinds of patents, patent eligibility was not really a concern for patent holders. Certainly, as exemplified first by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision in State Street Bank & Trust v. Signature Financial Group, 149 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1998), and later the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bilski v. Kappos, 561 U.S. 593 (2010), the patent eligibility of business method patents and software was an issue both in the prosecution and enforcement of patents. However, widespread uncertainty about and ultimate decimation of issued patents was nothing compared to what we have seen in the last five years since the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice v. CLS Bank International, 573 U.S. 208 (2014), which was the culmination of a series of decisions after Bilski, including Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, 566 U.S. 66 (2012), and Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, 569 U.S. 576 (2013).
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By Leslie Kushner
This article discusses the jurisprudence applied to determining patent eligibility of claims for diagnostic methods, and the expectation for changes in analysis of patent eligibility under §101 in the near future.
By Matthew Calcagno
Documents are the lifeblood of any law firm. The documents that a firm produces are its greatest asset, especially the intellectual property — trade secrets, patent information, etc. — contained in those documents, yet firms historically have not made sufficient efforts to safeguard those documents from both internal and external threats.
By Robert W. Clarida and Robert J. Bernstein
It’s a common fact pattern: A songwriter alleges that another songwriter has infringed the lyrics of Song A by using a similar short phrase, frequently a current slang phrase, in the lyrics of Song B. Claims like this do not often succeed because “words and short phrases such as names, titles, and slogans” are “not subject to copyright.”
By Joshua R. Stein and Jeff Ginsberg
Federal Circuit Holds PTAB Judges Unconstitutional, Constructs a Fix—But Not All Judges Agree on What Happens Next