Dec 201419

USPTO Releases New Guidelines on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Following Alice Corp.

On December 16, 2014, the USPTO released its interim guidance (2014 Interim Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility) for use by USPTO personnel in determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. 101. The new guidance was prepared in view of recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court, including the decision regarding the patentability of computer implemented inventions in Alice Corp. In referencing Alice Corp., the guidance states that something more is required “beyond generally linking the use of the judicial exception to a particular technological environment” to warrant a patent. However, the guidance does not make clear when that link transitions to “an improvement to another technology or technical field” which warrants patent protection.

The USPTO is seeking comments on the guidance and its application is still yet to be seen, however, this is yet another step in applying the Supreme Court’s recent analyses.

For more information, the full text of the guidance may be reviewed here.