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USPTO Releases New Guidelines on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility
December 16, 2014

Post by Dan Lorentzen

The USPTO today released new Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility. The new guidance comes nearly 9 months after the first set of "2014 Procedure For Subject Matter Eligibility Analysis Of Claims Reciting Or Involving Laws Of Nature/Natural Principles, Natural Phenomena, And/Or Natural Products" were released in March 2014. The March guidelines sought to implement new procedures to address changes in the laws relating to patent subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 in light of the Supreme Court's decisions in Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. and Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc. However, a new set of guidelines have been expected based on the more recent Supreme Court decision in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. V. CLS Bank International, and based on numerous comments and criticisms of the original guidelines.

The new guidance presents a number of changes in relation to the March guidelines.

The new guidance also includes a new set of examples for "Nature-Based Products." These examples replace the set of examples that were included with the March guidelines. Additional explanatory example sets relating to claims that do and do not amount to significantly more than a judicial exception are apparently being developed to be issued at a future date.

A more detailed discussion of the new guidelines is forthcoming.

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