Category: Patents

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The USPTO and Laws of Nature, Natural Products and Natural Phenomena
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Abstract Ideas and the USPTO
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Act Promptly and Diligently When Preparing Evidence in Patent Oppositions or Else…
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Software Is Still Patentable, With Caveats
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Australia Joins the Global Patent Prosecution Highway
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Breaking News – High Court of Australia Confirms That Methods of Medical Treatment are Patentable

The USPTO and Laws of Nature, Natural Products and Natural Phenomena

New Approach to Patentable Subject Matter

The United States Patent Office periodically issues guidance for examiners often in response to a recent court decision or new statute.  These guidelines (the Guidance) do not have the force of law but nevertheless establish the specific procedures that the Examiners apply during examination of patent applications.

Examination guidelines were issued on 4 March 2014  to address two  recent court decisions related to the subject matter eligibility of certain claims under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Examiners will use tests described in the Guidance to determine the patent eligibility of any claim related to laws of nature, natural phenomena and natural products. Read More

Abstract Ideas and the USPTO

The Patent Office’s First Take on CLS Bank v. Alice

On 25 June 2014, new examination guidelines (the Guidance) from the United States Patent Office were issued in response to the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International. This case addressed the subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 of claims related to an abstract idea.  The Guidance provides preliminary instructions for analysing claims involving an abstract idea and its applicability to technology areas, including the software and business method fields, which are worthy of attention from applicants.

Read More

Act Promptly and Diligently When Preparing Evidence in Patent Oppositions or Else…

A recent decision of the Australian Patent Office has underscored the importance of acting promptly and diligently at all times when preparing evidence in patent oppositions.

In this case the patent applicant was unable to complete and serve its evidence-in-support and sought an extension of time in which to do so. The Commissioner’s delegate considered the conduct of the patent applicant throughout the period provided for service of the evidence and decided that the patent applicant had not acted promptly and diligently at all times. Read More

Software Is Still Patentable, With Caveats

On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion on software and business method patents in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, et al. In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Thomas, the Court held all of Alice’s claims to be ineligible for patenting. The decision tightens the standards for patent eligibility but does not eliminate software patents or computer-implemented business methods. Read More

Australia Joins the Global Patent Prosecution Highway

What is the Global Patent Prosecution Highway?

The Australian Patent Office is one of 13 patent offices from around the globe that have joined forces to create a Global Patent Prosecution Highway (GPPH) pilot program, which commenced on 6 January 2014.

Under the GPPH pilot program – where an applicant receives a ruling from a participating patent office that at least one claim in a patent application is allowable – the applicant may request that another participating patent office accelerate examination of a corresponding patent application. Read More

Breaking News – High Court of Australia Confirms That Methods of Medical Treatment are Patentable

Apotex Pty Ltd v Sanofi-Aventis Australia Pty Ltd & Ors [2013] HCA 50

The High Court of Australia yesterday issued its long awaited decision in a dispute between Apotex Pty Ltd (Apotex) and Sanofi-Aventis Australia Pty Ltd and related entities (collectively, Sanofi) concerning Sanofi’s Australian patent entitled “Pharmaceutical for the treatment of skin disorders” (Patent). In summary:

  1. The majority (French CJ, Crennan, Keifel and Gageler JJ, Hayne J dissenting) held that assuming all other requirements for patentability are met, a method (or process) for medical treatment of the human body can be a “manner of manufacture” and therefore patentable for the purposes of section 18 of the Patents Act 1990 (Cth) (Act). Read More

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