Senate/House Outline Follows USPTO’s Top-Down Approach
The USPTO released Revised Guidance on Patent Eligibility Under 35 U.S.C. § 101 back in January. The Guidelines simplified the case law by presenting a top-down approach to distill the morass of case law on abstract ideas into a list of exempted categories.
Under its new Guidleines, if a patented claim was not directed to an exempt category, the the claims passed muster. If the claim is directed to an enumerated category, a practical application analysis is then performed, and if satisfied, the claims still pass 101 scrutiny. The result is a more patent friendly, and manageable analysis….at least at the USPTO.
Since introduction of the Guidelines, however, the Courts have declined to show them deference. Yet, Congress appears poised to enact legislation to forcibly align the Courts with the agency 101 Guidelines.