is a patent attorney with Womble Carlyle. He counsels and represents clients in patent litigation related to chemical, biotechnology, medical device and pharmaceutical matters and has significant experience in Abbreviated New Drug Application (ANDA) cases, including pre-litigation investigations. John has extensive experience related to discovery and motion practice, as well as developing both offensive and defensive strategies. He particularly enjoys dealing with complex subject matter and technical witnesses (inventors and experts), and counseling clients regarding litigation procedures and strategies.
A recent opinion by the Federal Circuit suggests that there will be considerable uncertainty about the respective boundaries of §§ 101 and 112 in the years ahead. In Trading Technologies Intl. Inc. v. CQG, Inc., Judge Newman wrote on behalf of a unanimous panel, following up on her concurrence in Bascom… Of particular interest is her continued endorsement of a flexible approach to § 101 and the traditional measures of patentability, such as § 112. Judge Newman wrote that the “threshold level of eligibility is often usefully explored by way of the substantive statutory criteria of patentability,” and that this approach is in harmony with the Supreme Court’s reasoning in in Alice.
Sections 101 and 112 provide their own separate limitations to the scope of patent protection in ways that are sometimes complimentary and sometimes contradictory… Inventors are motivated to maximize the breadth of their claims. But they may seek to do so by employing imprecise claim language. Both §§ 101 and 112 corral this behavior, although in slightly different ways. Section 101 safeguards against claims that are too abstract or overbroad to be patentable, being concerned with claims that would “wholly pre-empt” any other use of an inventive concept, thereby foreclosing independent innovations or application. Bilski, 561 U.S. at 610 (quotation omitted). Section 112 protects against claims that are not completely and functionally disclosed within the patent specification ensuring that patentees cannot claim more than what they have invented – and shared with the public.