Abstract inventions continue to confound the patent system. Several recent Federal Circuit decisions have only added to the uncertainty surrounding limitations on the type of inventions that may be patented. Computer algorithms capable of independent, artificial creativity provide a useful case study, revealing weaknesses in the law governing patentable subject matter and testing the workability of proposed solutions. This Note posits that the doctrine governing patentable subject matter is sufficiently vital in theory to limit patent coverage of broadly abstract inventions. To render the doctrine effective in practice, however, requires two changes in how courts apply it. First, courts must apply common law limits on patentability solely as means to ensure that society retains free access to the basic tools of science. Second, courts must limit statutory patentability under § 101 to only those inventions that produce predictable and replicable results when used.
Case Comment: Bhogaita v. Altamonte
EVERY DOG CAN HAVE HIS DAY IN COURT: THE USE OF ANIMALS AS DEMONSTRATIVE EXHIBITS Kyle R. Kroll, Volume 100, Online Managing Editor In Bhogaita v. Altamonte, the Eleventh Circuit recently decided whether to allow a dog in the courtroom as a demonstrative exhibit. Although the case presented many serious [...]
Revisiting Water Bankruptcy
REVISITING WATER BANKRUPTCY IN CALIFORNIA’S FOURTH YEAR OF DROUGHT Olivia Moe, Volume 100, Managing Editor This spring, as “extreme” to “exceptional” drought stretched across most of California—indicating that a four-year streak of drought was not about to resolve itself—Governor Jerry Brown issued an unprecedented order to reduce potable urban water [...]
Defying Auer Deference
DEFYING AUER DEFERENCE: SKIDMORE AS A SOLUTION TO CONSERVATIVE CONCERNS IN PEREZ v. MORTGAGE BANKERS ASSOCIATION Nicholas R. Bednar, Volume 100, Lead Articles Editor* On March 9, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States handed down its decision in Perez v. Mortgage Bankers Association.F The Court overturned the D.C. [...]