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Commenting on 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, Dallas principal Scott Hejny said, “The Supreme Court’s decision to deny cert in American Axle was disappointing for several reasons. First, the Supreme Court has traditionally followed the guidance of the Solicitor General. Historically that trend was at roughly 90% before last week’s denial. I personally think the SG was correct when suggesting that the Court should take up American Axle and provide further clarity on Section 101, especially in view of the differences of opinion at the Federal Circuit. Second, the technology involved in American Axle was relatively simple and would have provided the Court with a solid basis on which to clarify (or modify) the patent eligibility framework laid out in Alice. Of course no case is perfect – the mechanical technology at issue in American Axle is obviously much different that computer software or pharmaceuticals – two areas that have seen a lot of questions raised when it comes to patent eligibility. But I think the global view was that this was a good vehicle for the Supreme Court to weigh in (again) on Section 101 and potentially clarify its prior reasoning. Finally, the composition of Supreme Court has changed since the Alice decision, and I would have liked to see how the Court would address Section 101 in view of those changes. I think that it’s unlikely that we see the Court take up Section 101 any time in the near future with it having passed on what many see as a golden opportunity.” Read the article here.

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