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Intellectual Property Law

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A Functional Approach To Judicial Review Of Ptab Rulings On Mixed Questions Of Law And Fact, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jul 2019

A Functional Approach To Judicial Review Of Ptab Rulings On Mixed Questions Of Law And Fact, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

The Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) has long relied on active appellate review to bring uniformity and clarity to patent law. It initially treated the PTO the same as the federal district courts, reviewing its factual findings for clear error and its legal conclusions de novo. Following reversal by the Supreme Court in Dickinson v. Zurko, the Federal Circuit began giving greater deference to PTO factual findings. But it continued to review the PTO’s legal conclusions de novo, while coding an expansive list of disputed issues in patent cases as legal conclusions, even when they ...


Diagnostics Need Not Apply, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Sep 2015

Diagnostics Need Not Apply, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Diagnostic testing helps caregivers and patients understand a patient's condition, predict future outcomes, select appropriate treatments, and determine whether treatment is working. Improvements in diagnostic testing are essential to bringing about the long-heralded promise of personalized medicine. Yet it seems increasingly clear that most important advances in this type of medical technology lie outside the boundaries of patent-eligible subject matter. The clarity of this conclusion has been obscured by ambiguity in the recent decisions of the Supreme Court concerning patent eligibility. Since its 2010 decision in Bilski v. Kappos, the Court has followed a discipline of limiting judicial exclusions ...


Prometheus Rebound: Diagnostics, Nature, And Mathematical Algorithms, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2013

Prometheus Rebound: Diagnostics, Nature, And Mathematical Algorithms, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

The Supreme Court’s decision last Term in Mayo v. Prometheus left considerable uncertainty as to the boundaries of patentable subject matter for molecular diagnostic inventions. First, the Court took an expansive approach to what counts as an unpatentable natural law by applying that term to the relationship set forth in the challenged patent between a patient’s levels of a drug metabolite and the indication of a need to adjust the patient’s drug dosage. And second, in evaluating whether the patent claims add enough to this unpatentable natural law to be patent eligible, the Court did not consult ...


Wisdom Of The Ages Or Dead-Hand Control? Patentable Subject Matter For Diagnostic Methods After In Re Bilski, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2012

Wisdom Of The Ages Or Dead-Hand Control? Patentable Subject Matter For Diagnostic Methods After In Re Bilski, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

In 1980, the Supreme Court gave a reassuring signal to the then-nascent biotechnology industry about the availability of patent protection for the fruits of its research when it upheld the patentability of a genetically modified living organism in Diamond v. Chakrabarty. Twenty-five years later, the Court seemed poised to reexamine the limits of patentable subject matter for advances in the life sciences when it granted certiorari in Laboratory Corporation v. Metabolite. But the Federal Circuit had not addressed the patentable subject matter issue in Laboratory Corporation, and the Court ultimately dismissed the certiorari p etition as improvidently granted. Five years ...


Pharma's Nonobvious Problem, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2008

Pharma's Nonobvious Problem, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

This Article considers the effect of the recent decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in KSR International Co. v. Teleflex, Inc. on the nonobviousness standard for patentability as applied to pharmaceutical patents. By calling for an expansive and flexible analysis and disapproving of the use of rigid formulas in evaluating an invention for obviousness, KSR may appear to make it easier for generic competitors to challenge the validity of drug patents. But an examination of the Federal Circuit's nonobviousness jurisprudence in the context of such challenges reveals that the Federal Circuit has been employing all along the sort ...


The Supreme Court And The Federal Circuit: Visitation And Custody Of Patent Law, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2007

The Supreme Court And The Federal Circuit: Visitation And Custody Of Patent Law, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

The U.S. Supreme Court’s relationship to patent law sometimes seems like that of a non-custodial parent who spends an occasional weekend with the kids. The custodial parent is, of course, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. The Federal Courts Improvement Act of 1982 consolidated intermediate appellate jurisdiction over patent law cases in this single court, which hears appeals from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“PTO”), the U.S. District Courts, the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, and the U.S. In-ternational Trade Commission. Day to day it is the Federal Circuit ...


Obvious To Whom? Evaluating Inventions From The Perspective Of Phosita, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2004

Obvious To Whom? Evaluating Inventions From The Perspective Of Phosita, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

In this Article, I consider the possibility of giving the USPTO input from currently active technological practitioners in evaluating the obviousness of claimed inventions. Such input could potentially serve three useful functions. First, it could improve the accuracy of USPTO decisionmaking by providing access to the perspective of actual practitioners as to the obviousness of inventions from the perspective of the hypothetical PHOSITA. Second, it could help the USPTO document the evidentiary basis for rejections that rest in part upon tacit knowledge within technological communities. Third, it could provide a quality control mechanism that would improve the credibility of USPTO ...


Bayh-Dole Reform And The Progress Of Biomedicine, Arti K. Rai, Rebecca S. Eisenberg Jan 2003

Bayh-Dole Reform And The Progress Of Biomedicine, Arti K. Rai, Rebecca S. Eisenberg

Articles

Advances in fundamental biomedical research play an important and growing role in the development of new therapeutic and diagnostic products. Although the development of pharmaceutical end products has long been a proprietary enterprise, biomedical research comes from a very different tradition of open science. Within this tradition, long-standing norms call for relatively unfettered access to fundamental knowledge developed by prior researchers. The tradition of open science has eroded considerably over the past quarter century as proprietary claims have reached farther upstream from end products to cover fundamental discoveries that provide the knowledge base for future product development.