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Addressing the widespread disappointment among intellectual property litigators at the U.S. Supreme Court’s refusal to review a domestic manufacturer’s petition that many hoped would clarify the critical issue of subject matter eligibility in patent cases, Washington, DC principal Nick Matich said, “In many people’s view, the Federal Circuit’s decision in American Axle created new uncertainty in patent law, because the case dealt with a solidly physical and mechanical invention and the claims on their face said nothing about a ‘law of nature’. That counterintuitive result brought a lot of high-level attention to the cert petition, including from the Department of Justice, US Patent and Trademark Office, a group of senators, former [USPTO] director Kappos, and former judge Michel. It’s hazardous to speculate about what denial of the cert petition might mean for future 101 cases at the Supreme Court—it’s hard to see a better vehicle coming before the court than this one. That said, in other areas of law, the court has denied cert petitions that experts said should or would be granted. So the court may ultimately weigh in. For patent owners and defendants, the denial shouldn’t mean much for ordinary patent litigation, but it may reinvigorate legislative discussions on 101 reform.” Read the article here.

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