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Subject Matter Eligibility for Mechanical Patents: Implications of American Axle, Abstractness, and Laws of Nature

December 7, 2022
webinar

Subject Matter Eligibility for Mechanical Patents: Implications of American Axle, Abstractness, and Laws of Nature, is a must-attend event for patent practitioners. This CLE webinar on Tuesday, December 7, 2022 at 1-2:30 p.m. ET features experts:

The panel will discuss the American Axle & Mfg. v. Neapco Holdings L.L.C. decision and its implications for mechanical patents. The decision(s) in American Axle brought the issues of abstractness and laws of nature to practitioners in the mechanical arts. The panel will offer best practices for applying recent court guidance in application drafting and prosecution. Please contact Director of Marketing Jessica Lister at jlister@cantorcolburn.com for registration information.

Webinar Overview

Earlier this year, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in American Axle & Mfg. v. Neapco Holdings L.L.C., a mechanical patent case that many thought provided an opportunity for clarity on the issue of subject matter eligibility. Subject matter eligibility has been an issue for biotech and software practitioners for years. With this decision, mechanical patent applicants face this challenge too.

Under Section 101, an invention must be a "new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof" to be patent eligible. Inventions cannot be abstract ideas or laws of nature as they do not meet the Section 101 requirements. They must fall within one of the following categories: process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter.

When patenting mechanical inventions that utilize a law of nature, it is critical that the claims and the specification allow the application to overcome potential Section 101 issues. Claims should include specific mechanisms, physical structures, or steps that make use of a law of nature to demonstrate it is more than "simply stat[ing] a law of nature while adding the words 'apply it'" as the Federal Circuit stated.

Subject Matter Eligibility for Mechanical Patents Webinar