Robert Sachs Relaunches Bilski Blog Amid Changes in Patentable Subject Matter


Mountain View (September 5, 2013) – Fenwick & West is pleased to announce that patent partner Robert Sachs has relaunched Bilski Blog, a forum for commentary on the continuing development of patent eligibility in the years since Bilski v. Kappos.

Recent Supreme Court and Federal Circuit cases, including Mayo v. Prometheus, Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad and CLS v. Alice, have significantly unsettled the law regarding patentable subject matter through a series of conflicting opinions. Confounding serious problems in existing legal theories of claim construction and obviousness, these rulings impact the patentability of inventions ranging from business methods and computer graphics software to biotechnology and medical diagnostics. The increased uncertainty in the law could have deleterious effects on innovation, as companies and entrepreneurs may forgo developing new technologies and businesses if they believe that patent protection may not be available to safeguard their investments.

Sachs is a leader in the area of patentable subject matter. While most authors and scholars take a results-oriented approach to this question, Sachs instead starts with the principles of creativity and innovation that drive humans to solve functional problems and how language is used to describe such innovations. His understanding of the practical implications of patent law has been shaped by extensive experience in developing patent portfolios for companies of all sizes, working closely over 20 years with software engineers, scientists and technologists as they create new technologies and businesses.

The Supreme Court is poised to address the question of patentable subject matter again in the next term, particularly with regard to software. Indeed, Sachs’ commentary on CLS v. Alice was cited in Alice Corporation’s petition for certiorari filed with the Court yesterday. Check Bilski Blog frequently for principled analysis regarding the questions of patent eligibility and related patent issues.

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