Remembering Nuijten and Comisky 5 Years Later
On Thursday, September 20, 2007, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued two decisions that provoked much debate, and which deserve to be remembered. The first case, In re Comiskey, seemed rather straight forward and certainly not earth shattering. In the other case of the day, In re Nuijten, the Federal Circuit determined that a propagating signal cannot be patented because it is does not qualify as patentable subject matter. Frankly, I think the ruling in Nuijten can be simply summarized by saying that Judges Gajarsa and Moore didn’t understand the technology. Thus, in baseball terminology, on September 20, 2007, the Federal Circuit went 1 for 2, which would put you on a sure path to enshrinement in Cooperstown, but is not what you would hope for when dealing with an area of patent law as fundamentally important as patentable subject matter.