Lawmakers Release Framework to Reform Section 101

Written April 22, 2019

On April, 17, 2019, Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Chris Coons (D-DE), and Representatives Doug Collins (R-GA), Hank Johnson (D-GA), and Steve Stivers (R-OH), released a bipartisan, bicameral framework to reform Section 101 of the Patent Act.

The Framework would keep the existing statutory categories of patent-eligible subject matter while eliminating the requirement that an invention be “new,” and define an exclusive list of subject matter that isn’t eligible for patent protection. It would also create a “practical application” test to ensure that statutorily ineligible subject matter is construed narrowly; ensure that simply reciting generic technical language doesn’t salvage an ineligible claim; statutorily abrogate judicially created exceptions; and elucidate that eligibility is determined by considering each and every element of the claim as a whole and without regard to considerations properly addressed by 102, 103 and 112.

The Framework comes after multiple roundtables and extensive discussions with stakeholders, and the Members look forward to continued feedback.

To explore some of AIPLA's efforts on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility, please click here.