Is 101 Relief in Sight?

Federal Circuit Adds to Section 101 Jurisprudence

Senators Thom Tillis (R-N.C.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.) released a plan to revise Section 101 of Title 35 of the U.S. Code relating to U.S. patent law, reports Alexis Kramer of Bloomberg Law. As reported by Ms. Kramer, the senators (the chairman and a ranking member respectively of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Intellectual Property) have been meeting with industry representatives since December of 2018 to discuss how to redefine patent-eligible subject matter under U.S. patent law. Continue reading this entry

New Guidance from Federal Circuit for Computer-Implemented Medical Methods


A patent claiming methods to integrate physiological treatment data remotely using a computer was held invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. University of Florida Research Foundation, Inc. v. General Electric Company, et al. (Fed. Cir., Slip Op. 2018-1284, February 26, 2019). The Federal Circuit affirmed the district court’s invalidity decision on a motion to dismiss and provided a reasoned analysis of § 101 jurisprudence for computer-implemented methods. The decision provides useful guidance to innovators who seek to patent certain computer-implemented methods that integrate select genomic or clinical patient data into a larger data set for analysis or clinical guidance. Continue reading this entry

USPTO Patent Eligibility Training on 2019 Revised Subject Matter Guidance


On February 28, 2019, the USPTO summarized and explained the recently issued 2019 Revised Patent Subject Matter Eligibility Guidance (2019 PEG) that changes the procedures for determining whether a patent claim is directed to patent eligible subject matter. While a majority of the changes directly impact computer-implemented inventions, the 2019 PEG does change how claims to personalized therapies are examined for patent eligibility. The 2019 PEG slide deck is available here (PEG Slide deck). Continue reading this entry

USPTO Releases 2019 Eligibility Update

On January 4, 2019, the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced revised guidance for determining subject matter eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 for computer-implemented inventions (Guidance). The Guidance takes effect Monday, January 7, 2019. The Guidance is important for medical patents that use algorithms for diagnosis and treatment decisions in personalized medicine.

Two Primary Changes to Improve Clarity

Two primary changes on how patent examiners should apply the first part of the two part U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice/Mayo test, are made to improve “clarity, consistency, and predictability of actions across the USPTO” (quoting Under Secretary of Commerce of Intellectual Property and Director of the USPTO Andrei Iancu Guidance Press Release):

  1. The revised Guidance “extracts and synthesizes key concepts identified by the courts as abstract ideas to explain that the abstract idea exception includes certain groupings of subject matter: mathematical concepts, certain methods of organizing human activity, and mental processes”;
  2. The revised Guidance “includes a two-prong inquiry for whether a claim is ‘directed to’ a judicial exception. In the first prong, examiners will evaluate whether the claim recites a judicial exception and if so, proceed to the second prong. In the second prong, examiners evaluate whether the claim recites additional elements that integrate the identified judicial exception into a practical application.”

Guidance Press Release

Public Comments Requested

The USPTO is seeking public comment on the Guidance documents. The public is invited to submit comments and suggestions for future guidance documents to on or before March 8, 2019.


The Business of Personalized Medicine

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the completion of the Human Genome Project. In the decade and a half that has passed since, the genomic revolution has spurred an immeasurable level of excitement and support surrounding the promise of personalized medicine, setting high expectations for a new era of health care and rapidly transforming the field into a multi-billion dollar industry. While realizing that promise has turned out to be neither quick nor easy, recent scientific and technological progress has been impressive, pointing to a possible tipping point for mainstream clinical adoption as well as tremendous commercial growth potential for innovators, entrepreneurs, and investors.

For a deep-dive into this current issues to impacting the industry, please join me in South San Francisco on Thursday, December 6, 2018, for the 5th Business of Personalized Medicine Summit. This one day summit explores sustainable business model solutions for entities that are already engaged in the personalized medicine marketplace as well as those seeking to enter the competitive space. Through a series of thought-provoking discussions with key executives from across multiple stakeholder perspectives, the program examines in depth the latest financial, regulatory, policy, R&D, and technology-related complexities, trends, and opportunities impacting the business of personalized medicine, and introduces strategies for successfully navigating the challenging and ever-evolving market.

The day begins with Dr. Helmy Eltoukhy, co-founder and CEO of Guardant Health, a pioneer in the liquid biopsy space that is hot on the heels of an impressive $238M IPO debut – one of the largest in life sciences so far this year.  Dr. Eltoukhy will discuss lifecycle strategy and his company’s potentially game-changing technology for early cancer detection, Guardant’s growth trajectory in a promising yet complex and increasingly competitive field, and what the future holds in terms of innovation and market interest.

Mr. Harry Glorikian will close out this year’s program. Mr. Glorikian is an influential leader with more than 20 years of experience in life sciences, healthcare, and health IT who has been a driving force behind major business transformations that accelerated growth, efficiency gains, cost reductions, and competitive advantage for market leaders as well as up-and-coming innovators with next-generation ideas. Drawing from his most recent book, Mr. Harry Glorikian will offer his insights and advice for thriving in the new data-driven market.