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Konstantin Linnik moderates BIO 2015 panel “’Inventions Patentable’: Evaluating Proposed Amendments to Section 101”

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06.17.2015

Konstantin Linnik, a partner in the firm’s Intellectual Property Department and a member of the Life Sciences practice group, moderated the “‘Inventions Patentable’: Evaluating Proposed Amendments to Section 101” panel at the BIO International Convention on June 17.

The panel focused on U.S. Patent Code, Section 101 and whether it is time for Congress to amend Section 101. The most foundational part of the U.S. Patent Code, Section 101, reads as follows:

“Inventions patentable--Whoever invents or discovers any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent therefor, subject to the conditions and requirements of this title.”

A literal reading of that section suggests that new materials isolated form nature or diagnostic methods should be patent-eligible. Nevertheless, the recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions re-interpreted patent eligibility for biotechnology inventions. The Court classified such inventions as ineligible because they didn’t “add enough” or “significantly more” to the “laws of nature” or “natural phenomena.” Now, many biomedical inventions patentable elsewhere in the world are not patent-eligible in the U.S. or, at best, they fall within the gray area of uncertainty. While the US Patent Office is striving to reconcile legal precedent, the Patent Office’s effort can provide only a partial solution since the Office is charged with implementing the law, not correcting it.

Thought leaders in the field discussed amendment options and their implications, and shared proposed texts. Panelists included David Kappos, Judge Paul Michel, Philip Johnson, Robert Armitage, and Kristin Neuman.

Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review featured the panel discussion in its article “BIO 2015: The ‘silent killer of innovation.’” To view the article, click here.

For more information, click here.

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