Annal D. Vyas


This Article proposes a solution to the current problems surrounding section 101 and patent-eligibility. Specifically, it advocates for an amendment to section 101 of the Patent Act that eliminates the abstract idea exception when conducting a patent eligibility analysis. This approach has several advantages, including the fact that judges no longer need to provide logically contortioned explanations as to why one idea is "abstract" and another is not. Nor will judges have to decide whether an abstract idea can still be patent eligible by virtue of being an "inventive concept of an abstract idea."

Part II of this Article reviews (a) the Constitutional and statutory framework for patent protection; (b) Supreme Court precedent that first gave life to the abstract idea exception; and (c) subsequent decisions that have struggled to apply ostensibly clear precedent. Part III (a) recaps the latest abstract idea decision from the Supreme Court, Alice v. CLS Bank, and (b) examines key post-Alice Federal Circuit decisions. Part IV notes the problems associated with current abstract idea jurisprudence. This section also proposes that amending the Patent Act to eliminate any inquiry into whether an idea is abstract would be beneficial and extinguishes the problems identified. Moreover, it argues that such an amendment would not lead to the proliferation of unwarranted patents, as proper application of section 103 would serve as a meaningful bar to patent issuance.