On December 5, 2016 the USPTO will hold its second Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Roundtable to discuss issues in patent eligibility. The USPTO published a list of eighteen questions in anticipation of the event, dealing with various issues in eligibility theory, legislative changes and so forth, and requesting comments in response. Here are the answers I will be submitting to the Office.
Impact of Judicial Interpretation of Section 101
The Supreme Court’s current definition of a law of nature is scientifically incorrect. The analysis of this issue is quite complex, but I will attempt to summarize the issue. The Court’s definition in the Mayo case came down to: “the relation itself exists in principle apart from any human action. The relation is a consequence of the ways in which thiopurine compounds are metabolized by the body—entirely natural processes. And so a patent that simply describes that relation sets forth a natural law.”