Bill To Broaden Patent Eligibility Spurs Clash At Sen. Hearing

Law360 (June 4, 2019, 11:05 PM EDT) -- A bill to expand patent eligibility drew highly divergent reactions from former patent officials, professors and industry groups at a Senate hearing Tuesday, with proponents praising it as a needed clarification that will bolster innovation and detractors warning that it will spark waves of abusive lawsuits.

The draft bill, unveiled last month by Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C. and Chris Coons, D-Del., would undo U.S. Supreme Court decisions that have held that abstract ideas, laws of nature and natural phenomena are not patent-eligible, and would also mandate that the law “shall be construed in favor of eligibility.”

Tillis and Coons led Tuesday’s three-hour...

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