McKool Smith principal Nick Matich shared his opinion in Bloomberg Law’s article “U.S. Patent Eligibility Muddle Sets It Apart From Other Countries.” While Ericsson patented its media coding invention in over 90 countries, patent examiners needed some convincing it was eligible for protection in U.S. Section 101 of the Patent Act sets the baseline for what is eligible for protection. The U.S. Supreme Court has created exceptions to eligibility, including laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas, “but how to distinguish unpatentable ideas still isn’t clear.” Nick said, “Even when everyone agrees that whatever is disclosed is not at all in the prior art, and everyone agrees that it is very novel, there is still 101 uncertainty for some of those inventions…. That, as far as I’m aware, is not a feature of any other country’s patent system.” Read the article here.


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