Insights & News

The Conundrum of Patentable Subject Matter

August 02, 2021
Client Alert

Relating to “[i]nventions patentable,” 35 U.S.C. § 101 was enacted in 1952 and Congress has not amended the section since. The section provides that “[w]hoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title,” a mere thirty-six words. The Supreme Court has interpreted this language four times in recent years in cases involving computer-implemented methods and biotechnology. Subsequent decisions have extended the principles set forth in those cases into the realms of mechanical engineering and physical objects that were previously considered unimpeachable. What is patentable subject matter anymore? Read full article...

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