Fed. Circ. Ruling May Affect Eligibility Of Life Sciences Patents

By David Ludwig and Ted Mathias (November 21, 2019, 4:00 PM EST) -- The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's ruling in American Axle & Manufacturing Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC[1] last month might significantly impact patent eligibility for method-of-treatment and medical device claims.

Although the claims at issue in American Axle related to a mechanical technology — namely propeller shafts, or propshafts, used in automobiles — that has not received regular scrutiny under Section 101, the court nevertheless found the claims invalid as claiming a patent-ineligible natural law.

The pharmaceutical, biotech and medical industries should pay close attention to the American Axle court's expansive application of patent ineligibility under Section 101....

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