January 2019: USPTO Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance

            The USPTO has issued modified subject-matter eligibility (“Section 101”) guidance.  The new guidance recognizes the need for increased clarity and consistency in how Section 101 is applied.  Under current Section 101 case law, an invention may not be patented if it is subject-matter ineligible.  Such inventions include those which are directed to a judicial exception, such as an abstract idea or a law of nature.

Primary changes which are implemented via the new guidelines include:  (1) providing groupings of subject matter that are considered to be an abstract idea, and (2) clarifying that a claim is not directed to a judicial exception if the invention is integrated into a practical application of the exception.

Contact Weide & Miller for more information on Section 101 and how it impacts the review of patent applications and already issued patents.