Partner Laura Smalley will present at the 2022 IPWatchdog Life Sciences Masters™ program. This event will be held on October 25 – October 26, with Laura’s presentation on October 25 at 11:00am. Click here to see the Life Sciences Masters™ complete agenda. A full description of Laura’s presentation topic is below:

Patent Eligibility and the Life Sciences Industry– What Next?

With the Supreme Court recently refusing certiorari in American Axle, hope has been lost for a near-term patent eligibility fix that would help the life sciences industry.

Was it foolish to be hopeful the Supreme Court would fix a Federal Circuit ruling that found a drive shaft to be patent ineligible because the operation of the drive shaft fundamentally relies on Hooke’s law? In retrospect, yes—but American Axle was supposed to be different. Even the Supreme Court explained in Alice that “[a]t some level, all inventions embody, use, reflect, rest upon or apply laws of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract ideas.”

With the evolution of the law of patent eligibility are we really at a place where every invention that embodies, uses, reflects, rests upon or applies scientific laws is patent ineligible? Given the Federal Circuit’s interpretation of Myriad and Mayo, medical diagnostics are no longer patent eligible. And despite the fact that the word “discoveries” appears in both the U.S. Constitution and in the Patent Act itself as the type of thing that can be and should be protected, discoveries are not patent eligible today in the United States.

Where do we go from here? What does the future of the life sciences industry look like in the United States? Will there be a patent eligibility fix that can pass in Congress?  These and other issues will be addressed by this panel.