USPTO Sets Limits On Nixing Eligibility Under Berkheimer

By Ryan Davis (April 19, 2018, 9:35 PM EDT) -- The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Thursday established limits on when patent examiners can reject applications for claiming patent-ineligible material, in the wake of a high-profile Federal Circuit holding that the eligibility analysis can involve factual questions.

The guidance memo issued to examiners and announced at a conference by USPTO Commissioner for Patents Drew Hirshfeld explains how the agency will apply the appeals court's February ruling in Berkheimer v. HP Inc., which shook up patent law by raising the bar for finding that an invention is ineligible for patenting.

In its landmark patent-eligibility decisions such as Alice v. CLS Bank,...

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