A Uniform Framework for Patent Eligibility

89 Pages Posted: 4 Dec 2010  

Efthimios Parasidis

Ohio State University

Date Written: December 1, 2010

Abstract

There is a need to clarify patent law so as to advance resolution of its most fundamental question – delineating the categories of subject matter that are eligible for patent protection. Coupled with the active role the Supreme Court has taken in examining this precise issue, individuals and non-profit organizations have galvanized a public discourse through constitutional challenges to the issuance of various biotechnology patents. Despite a statutory framework that has remained constant since 1793, courts have been unable to create a comprehensive test for determining patent-eligible subject matter that accurately embodies the foundational principles that underlie the federal grant of patents. I argue that the proximate cause of the lack of an appropriate framework is the failure of courts to clearly define the statutory categories and the absence of a technology-agnostic method of analyzing whether an invention claims ownership over a product of nature. This Article sets forth a uniform framework that addresses patent-eligible subject matter through the creation of a practical methodology that focuses on these two principles. The advantages of the proposed framework are highlighted through the application of the framework to traditional inventions and emerging biotechnologies.

Keywords: patent law, patentable subject matter, product of nature doctrine, patent validity, patent theory, patent policy

JEL Classification: O34

Suggested Citation

Parasidis, Efthimios, A Uniform Framework for Patent Eligibility (December 1, 2010). Tulane Law Review, Vol. 85, No. 2, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1718742

Efthimios Parasidis (Contact Author)

Ohio State University ( email )

Blankenship Hall-2010
901 Woody Hayes Drive
Columbus, OH OH 43210
United States

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