Congress releases bipartisan draft bill to repair the law on patent eligibility

On May 22, 2019, members of Congress made available for public comment a one-page draft of a bill that aims to rewrite the patent eligibility provisions of the Patent Act to address the muddled jurisprudence spawned by the Supreme Court cases of Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories and Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International.  Notably, the draft legislation eliminates per se judicial exceptions to patent eligibility, and it also proposes removing the word “new” in Section 101 to restore analysis of patent eligibility to a threshold inquiry separate from other patent requirements, such as novelty and nonobviousness.  Although the draft bill is designed to solicit feedback rather than serve as a final bill for voting on, the lawmakers hope that it will ultimately culminate in a bill that would shift the pendulum back in favor of patent eligibility.  “We believe this framework represents a true balance that will restore integrity, predictability and stability to our nation’s patent system, while also preventing the issuance of overly broad patents,” said Senator Thom Tillis, who is one of the members of Congress leading the effort.

The draft bill can be viewed here.

A more thorough discussion of the draft bill can be viewed here.