Society Letters

Coalition Letter to Biden Administration on Patent Eligibility

June 08, 2021

Dear Mr. President,
"We, the undersigned civil rights, medical, scientific, technology, patient advocacy, and environmental organizations, write to express our opposition to legislation or regulatory action that would overturn established Supreme Court precedent and expand patent-eligible subject matter to encompass abstract ideas, laws of nature, or natural phenomena. The doctrine of patent subject matter eligibility developed over 150 years of Supreme Court jurisprudence promotes innovation and competition by ensuring that the fundamental building blocks of invention cannot be monopolized. However, for many years, the Patent and Trademark Office interpreted subject matter eligibility more broadly. Recent Supreme Court case law reinvigorated the doctrine. The current law incentivizes and rewards investment in new technology, without hampering innovation, by granting a period of exclusivity to specific new inventions while protecting access to knowledge and ideas. Allowing patents on abstract ideas, laws of nature, or natural phenomena would harm consumers by stymieing competition and thwart technological innovation in areas ranging from medicine, to software, and green technology by restricting use of 'the basic tools of scientific and technological work.'"

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