In the Spotlight

CPIP Scholars File Amicus Brief Asking Supreme Court to Fix Section 101

On February 16, 2017, CPIP Senior Scholar Adam Mossoff & CPIP Legal Fellow David Lund filed an amicus brief urging the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in TDE Petroleum v. AKM Enterprise. The amicus brief was filed on behalf of 15 law professors, including CPIP’s Devlin Hartline, Chris Holman, Sean O’Connor, Kristen Osenga, and Mark Schultz.

The amici urge the Supreme Court to take the case in order to correct the misapplication of the Mayo-Alice test, which determines whether an invention is patentable subject matter under Section 101, by the lower courts and the Patent & Trademark Office. They argue that the Mayo-Alice test is being applied in an indeterminate and overly-restrictive manner that fails to consider the claimed invention as a whole.

As the amici explain: “This Court can easily remedy this problem by (1) reversing the decision in this case that contradicts the settled law set forth in Diehr, and (2) providing further instructions to lower courts and to the PTO that they should apply the Mayo-Alice test only to the claimed invention as a whole.”

To read the amicus brief, please click here.


CPIP, USPTO, & Lemelson Center Host “Great Inventors” Panel Discussion at American History Museum

On February 16, 2017, CPIP hosted a panel discussion, America as a Place of Innovation: Great Inventors and the Patent System, at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C. The event was cohosted by the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

The panel explored the history of innovation and the broader social, political, and legal context in which it occurred in the late nineteenth century in the United States. The panel adressed the historical role of patents, research-intensive startups, litigation, and licensing in an important period of disruptive innovation.

Prof. Ernest Freeberg, University of Tennessee, discussed Thomas Edison and how the invention of the electric light impacted American culture. Prof. Christopher Beauchamp, Brooklyn Law School, discussed Alexander Graham Bell and the legal disputes that erupted out of Bell’s telephone patent. Prof. Adam Mossoff, Antonin Scalia Law School, George Mason University, discussed early American innovation by Charles Goodyear, Samuel Morse, and Joseph Singer.

The panel discussion was moderated by Arthur Daemmrich, Director of the Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Alan Marco, Chief Economist at the United States Patent and Trademark Office delivered the closing remarks.


CPIP Releases New Report on Global Patent Pendency Problem

CPIP has just released a new report entitled The Long Wait for Innovation: The Global Patent Pendency Problem. The report was penned by CPIP Director of Academic Programs Mark Schultz and CPIP Legal Fellow Kevin Madigan.

The report documents one of the biggest challenges facing the global patent system: patent pendency. In many countries, the delay between application and grant is so long that the patent approaches irrelevance in many industries. For example, the average time to obtain a patent for mobile technology in Brazil is 14 years, and in Thailand, it takes 16 years on average to get a life sciences patent.

For the first time, Schultz and Madigan present data collected from eleven different countries demonstrating that patent pendency is a global problem. They show that lengthy backlogs are not related to national wealth, and they break out important technology fields for comparison. The authors make several recommendations for fixing the problem, including hiring more and better-qualified examiners, implementing work-sharing between patent offices, and eliminating obstacles to final grants.

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To read the report, please click here.