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July 27, 2010

Lightening Up

The USPTO today issued revised interim §101 guidelines in light of the SCOTUS Bilski decision. "The machine-or-transformation test remains an investigative tool and is a useful starting point." Other stated criteria include: applying laws of nature (versus the laws themselves), and more than "a mere statement of general concepts," for which examples are given (e.g., mental activity). Examiners "should avoid focusing on issues of patent-eligibility under 35 U.S.C. §101 to the detriment of considering" other avenues of rejection (§§ 102, 103, and 112).

Posted by Patent Hawk at July 27, 2010 1:14 PM | Prosecution

Comments

I'm glad that the initial, burden-shifting version of the interim guidelines was replaced. At first I wondered whether the burden-shifting was part of a deliberate attempt to raise the bar on patent quality, as David Kappos has set as one of his main goals. For the purposes of getting more patents issued, it's great that examiners will maintain the burden of proof. Nonetheless, I hope patent quality will remain a priority; it's partly an overabundance of junk patents that has critically strained the patent law system.

Posted by: patent litigation at August 4, 2010 11:56 AM

"it's partly an overabundance of junk patents that has critically strained the patent law system."

And you think this... why exactly?


Junk patents inherently are easy to dispose of - that's why they are junk.

Posted by: Pedantic Pete at August 4, 2010 4:06 PM

"Junk patents inherently are easy to dispose of - that's why they are junk."

Tell that to the PTO at the USSC for the Bilski case.

Posted by: 6000 at August 5, 2010 3:57 PM