Stuart P. Meyer

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My last post focused on definitions for the terms “well-understood,” “routine,” and “conventional”—or W-URC—from the subject matter eligibility test set forth in Mayo and further described in Alice. Those terms relate to one part of the current test only. It seems fair to consider another important term in the test, one that’s considered before even reaching the W-URC issue: Whether the claim is “directed to” patent-ineligible subject matter, e.g., a law of nature. I was particularly reminded of…
The Federal Circuit has now had enough opportunity to address Mayo’s “well-understood, routine, conventional” test that we should have a good understanding of it. We don’t (or at least I don’t). To begin with, the Federal Circuit cases don’t seem to differentiate among these terms. The cases also universally connect the three terms with “and” rather than “or,” but curiously most of the cases don’t seem to actually require all three to be explicitly met for a…
With counterpoint by Gregory Hopewell In reading post-Mayo/Alice decisions, some seem more comfortable than others. I’ve been having a tough time getting my head and heart around a recent decision from Judge Leonard Stark of the District of Delaware.  The case is American Axle & Manufacturing v. Neapco Holdings and Neapco Drivelines.  From the party names alone, this does not appear to be a likely candidate for Section 101 invalidity. The claims that the…
I was reminded of this question, often posed by my dad to remind me not to become a slave to statistics, by two dramatic things that happened last week. On the one hand, at the IAM 2017 Patent Law and Policy conference in Washington DC, investors spoke about waning interest in the U.S. market given the increasing frequency of patent invalidations. On the other hand, the Nasdaq composite index (consisting of 86% U.S. companies) hit…
The press is all abuzz with reactions to Judge Mayer’s concurring opinion bluntly stating that “claims directed to software implemented on a generic computer are categorically not eligible for patent.”  Intellectual Ventures I LLC v. Symantec Corp. et al., 2015-1769, -1770, -1771 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 30, 2016). Here, I’ll just explore one aspect of this remarkable opinion—the reasons that judicially created exceptions are dangerous. As we have previously detailed on this blog, the precipitous drop-off…
On September 4, a Massachusetts district court issued an interesting ruling that calls into question many of the recent preliminary stage Alice-based invalidations we’ve seen over the past year.  The decision, the latest round in ongoing litigation between DataTern and numerous defendants, is notable for the following reasons: It expressly recognizes that the presumption of validity applies to subject matter eligibility, saying that notwithstanding some suggestions in the Federal Circuit to the contrary (see…
By: Stuart P. Meyer The interplay between the legislative and judicial branches in the area of patent law has become a tectonic collision. Congress appears to be ever more active in telling courts how to handle patent matters, and the courts are increasingly writing their own exceptions into the statutory language governing patents. For several years now, Congress has been promising to address patent litigation abuse, but judges have expressed concern that this would be…