Mechanical Engineering Patents and Validity Goulash

Introduction If you thought that issues of natural law and abstract ideas were invalidating only medical device and treatment patents, think again.  The fog of natural law/natural phenomena/abstract ideas is descending upon “nuts and bolts” mechanical engineering.  It is no longer safe to pursue patent protection for vibration dampened drive shafts without encountering “validity goulash”.   Discussion Again…

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Patenting Medical Diagnostic Procedures

Introduction This article is a follow on to my July 19, 2019 post entitled Patenting Medical Devices and Procedures.  It may be useful to review this earlier blog post.  What prompts this new post is the pending petition of Athena Diagnostics Inc. regarding the invalidation of its patent for detecting a neurological disorder (Myasthenia gravis).  I discussed this case, Athena…

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Known Technology is Not Abstract Rev. 2

Introduction On August 26, 2019 I posted an article regarding “Known Technology Is Not Abstract”.  In that post I complained of the Federal Circuit determining a patent for an automatic garage door opener as being invalid since it utilized wireless technology and wireless technology was deemed to be a well understood technology and therefore an abstract…

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Known Technology is not Abstract

Introduction Abstract ideas are not patentable.  This is simple statement has caused continued confusion and frustration.  The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has ruled that a garage door opening device that differs from the prior art only in that it utilizes “off the self” wireless communicating technology is an abstract idea.  Use of known technical devices…

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Patenting Medical Devices and Procedures

Introduction There is a great deal of valuable intellectual property associated with medical technology.  However the patent landscape is, in my opinion, unclear and unsettled.  Diagnostic procedures that utilize human biologic functions are denied patent protect because the procedures rely on “natural law”. I have tried to outline the problem using the actual wording of disputed patents…

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Clarifying What are Patent Ineligible Abstract Ideas

Introduction: Intertwined with the long ambiguity of the scope of patent eligible software has been the difficulty in defining what are patent ineligible “abstract ideas”.  Recall 35 U.S.C. Section 101 states that all things invented by man are patentable subject matter except laws of nature, natural phenomena or abstract ideas.  These three items are referred to below as…

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PATENTS FOR BUSINESS METHODS (REVISED)

Introduction Methods of conducting business can be patentable.  However, the USPTO inquiry expands beyond the questions of whether the method is new (Section 102) or whether the method is an obvious variation of prior art methods (Section 103).  Further, the pendency for examination of business method applications is the longest within the USPTO.  Also see…

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Patenting Medical Diagnostic Procedures

INTRODUCTION There is a string of cases holding patents invalid on the basis that the patent is merely claiming an aspect of natural law.  This involves patents pertaining to medical diagnostics. Patents for medical diagnostic procedures may involve a dependency upon reactions or results that are a function of natural law (35 U.S.C. Section 101).  For example,…

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