Amending Patent Eligibility

66 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2016 Last revised: 3 May 2018

See all articles by David O. Taylor

David O. Taylor

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law

Date Written: August 4, 2016


The Supreme Court’s recent treatment of the law of patent eligibility has introduced an era of confusion, lack of administrability, and, ultimately, risk of under-investment in research and development. As a result, patent law — and in particular the law governing patent eligibility — is in a state of crisis. In this Article I show why, despite this crisis, it is highly unlikely that the Supreme Court will correct itself and solve these problems. I therefore proceed to consider how Congress might — consistent with its constitutional authority — correct these problems through appropriate legislation. I identify principles that should guide Congress when it considers potential legislation, including amendments to the patent statute. I then analyze several options for revising the existing statutory language governing patent eligibility in light of those principles. Such legislation is urgently needed to resolve the present crisis.

Keywords: Patent Law, Patents, Intellectual Property, Patentable Subject Matter, Eligible Subject Matter, Eligiblity, Mayo, Alice

Suggested Citation

Taylor, David O., Amending Patent Eligibility (August 4, 2016). 50 UC Davis Law Review 2149 (2017), SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 339, Available at SSRN:

David O. Taylor (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University - Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States


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