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Patent Caselaw Quality & Section 101

Patent Caselaw Quality

       What is "abstract" (35 U.S.C. 101)? What is "obvious" (35 U.S.C. 103)? What is an "enabling description" (35 U.S.C. 112)? Sad to say, 63 years after the Patent Reform Act of 1952, too many of the fundamental terms and tests of patent law remain vague, undefined, conflicting and/or unconstitutional. It is clear the federal judicial system has failed to clarify the vague statutes written by Congress (if you can clarify undefined terms), and that the U.S. Patent Office has failed as well. It is time for patent system users, scientists and engineers, working with the lawyers, to solve these problems. And a good place to start is cleaning up the mess of caselaw involving 35 U.S.C. 101.

35 U.S.C. 101

       35 U.S.C. 101 is the gateway to getting a patent - your invention has to be "any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof". Sounds straightforward, but for 60 years, the courts have been unable to clearly provide guidance as to how to prepare patent applications for new inventions that satisfy this test. To solve the problem the courts have created, we first have to understand the minds of the courts. To start, we need a database of the important caselaw regarding 35 U.S.C 101, both good and bad.

       On these and linked pages, is a database to court decisions and PTO guidelines, with regards to 35 U.S.C. 101. The remainder of this page lists the decisions in the database. The linked pages have detailed information on each decision. Soon we will be making available a standardized database of this information.

       Click here for a related database of CAFC decisions involving 101 and 112: www.global-patent-quality.com/cafclaw.html.

35 U.S.C 101 Caselaw - great, good and salvageable decisions

       The following decisions related to 35 U.S.C. 101 are either great (in that they are fully consistent with science, engineering, logic, semantics, and the Constitution), good (in that they they can be made great by being rewritten somewhat) or salvageable (in that they are saying something useful, just not too clearly).

35 U.S.C. 101 Caselaw (chronologically ordered)

35 U.S.C 101 Caselaw - contradictory decisions

       With multiple courts (Supreme Court, Court of Appeals of the Federal Circuit, regional Circuit Court of Appeals, federal district courts, and appeals courts at the U.S. PTO, either panels (a subset of judges) or en banc (all of the court's judges), with decisions across the decades, it is not surprising that there is a fair amount of conflict in decisions. Such conflicts, especially involving bad decisions, is grounds to ignore the contradictions.

35 U.S.C. 101 Caselaw (chronologically ordered)

35 U.S.C 101 Caselaw - bad decisions

       Sadly, across the centuries, U.S. federal judges involved with the patent law, including its coverage of scientific and engineering issues, have had few judges with any experience, qualifications or knowledge of science and engineering. It is not surprising that occasionally, a court decision involving patent law is just plain bad for getting the science and engineering wrong, and/or maknig mistakes of semantics and logic. All such case law must either be ignored, discredited, and/or overruled by Congressional modifications to the patent laws. There is no place in patent law for bad science, bad engineering, bad semantics and bad logic.

35 U.S.C. 101 Caselaw (chronologically ordered)

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