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Jeremy Doerre

is an associate at Tillman Wright, PLLC. Mr. Doerre focuses primarily on representing clients in patent matters related to software and computer technology. Mr. Doerre has ten years of experience preparing and prosecuting patent applications, but of late spends an increasing amount of his time working on post-grant proceedings before the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, and appeals to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

For more information or to contact Mr. Doerre, please visit his Firm Profile Page.

Recent Articles by Jeremy Doerre

Narrowly Construing the Bright-line Eligibility Prohibition Does Not Prevent Policing of Overbroad Claiming

Narrowly construing the § 101 eligibility exception for abstract ideas is not only suggested by Supreme Court guidance, but also could potentially allow for increased coherence and consistency while simultaneously serving to solicit further Supreme Court guidance on eligibility. Even if the bright-line eligibility prohibition is construed narrowly, § 101 can still serve to police claiming at a level of abstraction that results in overbroad claiming.

In an Abstract Idea Context, Little Is Unmistakably Within the Bright-line Eligibility Prohibition

It seems clear that the Supreme Court did not intend to categorically prohibit patenting of everything which can be characterized as an abstract idea at some level because the Court indicated that there are at least some abstract ideas that are sufficient to confer patent eligibility: namely, inventive concepts.  The Court’s bright-line prohibition against patenting laws of nature and mathematical formulas clearly was not intended to categorically prohibit patenting of everything which can be characterized as an abstract idea because such a bright-line extension would bar patenting of inventive concepts, which by definition are capable of characterization as abstract ideas but which the Court explicitly acknowledged are sufficient to signal eligibility.

The Implicit Exception to § 101 for Abstract Ideas Should Be Narrowly Construed

There is an alternative route is available to stay true to Supreme Court eligibility jurisprudence: Apply the Supreme Court’s standard approach of narrowly construing statutory exceptions to narrowly construe the implicit statutory exception to 35 U.S.C. § 101 for abstract ideas… In accordance with Supreme Court guidance regarding construction of statutory exceptions, the implicit statutory exception for abstract ideas should be construed “narrowly in order to preserve the primary operation of the provision” of 35 U.S.C. § 101. Clark, 489 U.S. at 739 (citing Phillips, 324 U. S. at 493).  To do otherwise would risk “frustrat[ing] the announced will of the people.” Phillips, 324 U. S. at 493.

Berkheimer, the Administrative Procedure Act, and PTO Motions to Vacate PTAB § 101 Decisions

After several years in which the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) did not seem to have an official position on the issue, and many Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) panels took a position that was clearly at variance with the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), the PTO recently seems to be acquiescing to principles that the patent bar has been urging for years: (a) the PTO is subject to the same Administrative Procedure Act obligations as any other agency, and therefore cannot make factual findings without substantial evidence, and (b) there’s no carve-out for factual findings underlying § 101 subject matter eligibility rejections.