Patent Subject Matter Eligibility: Roundtable 1

Over the past six years, the U.S. Supreme Court has issued a series of decisions—BilskiMayoMyriad, and Alice—that have significantly impacted patent eligibility law and continue to generate substantial public debate. We are seeking input from the public on patent subject-matter eligibility through two roundtables Nov. 14 in Alexandria, Virginia, and Dec. 5 in Stanford, California.

This first roundtable focused on soliciting stakeholder views on ways of improving the USPTO’s subject-matter eligibility guidance for patent examiners and how that guidance is being applied by examiners. Additional details about the roundtables are in a Federal Register Notice published Oct. 17, 2016.

Written comments will be accepted on an ongoing basis. All comments should be sent to

Agenda: RT 1 Agenda (updated Nov 7, 2016)

Roundtable Presentations: Final Roundtable 1 Presentations

Background information:

35 U.S.C. § 101 defines inventions eligible for patenting as “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof.” These classes of patent eligible subject matter have been narrowed by court opinions, which state that laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas are not eligible for patenting.