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11/15/07: The Patentability Shake-up: Patentable Subject Matter and Obviousness

Should 'anything under the sun that is made by man' be patentable?

What does it take for an invention to be obvious?

Is the Supreme Court anti-patent or has the Federal Circuit promulgated too many special rules protecting patents?

The United States Supreme Court has recently considered a record number of patent cases and has been reversing and reformulating numerous Federal Circuit standards. In Lab. Corp. v. Metabolite, the Supreme Court initially granted and then dismissed certiorari over a strong dissent in which certain justices appeared ready to impose new limitations on the scope of patentable subject matter. In KSR v. Teleflex, the Supreme Court issued a decision that rejected the notion that the Federal Circuit's "teaching, suggestion or motivation" test is the only standard against which to measure obviousness.

What are the standards for patentability today? At a program on Nov. 15, 2007, a distinguished panel of experts addressed the issues of patentable subject matter and obviousness and discussed their views on where the law is headed.


William Young Lampert Porcelli Williams
Hon. William G. Young,
U.S. District Court, District of MA
James B. Lampert, Esq.,
Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale & Dorr LLP
Frank P. Porcelli, Esq.,
Fish & Richardson P.C.
Kathy M. Williams, Ph.D.
Edwards, Angell, Palmer & Dodge
Prof. Eileen Herlihy,
New England Law,

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