Journal of Intellectual Property Law


Patents stimulate the economy, they give inventors (and investors in the patent) confidence that their work will be protected. You have never been able to patent laws of nature, natural phenomena or abstract ideas. These combine to create the judicial exceptions. The issue is that these terms are so broad that it is difficult to determine when a patent is connected to a judicial exception. The Supreme Court created the Alice test, a two-part test to determine whether a claim is tied to a judicial exception. That was back in 2014 and is the last time the Supreme Court has provided any guidance on the issue. Since then, the Alice test has taken on a life of its own and been used to confuse and stifle patent eligibility. The Alice Test is inadequate and needs to be overhauled. American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC is the perfect vehicle to address patent eligibility and the judicial exceptions. The Supreme Court should grant Writ of Certiorari and fix the issues in the Alice test. The Supreme Court should simplify the Alice test by limiting the scope of the test strictly to the judicial exceptions and allow 35 U.S.C. §§102-103 to be considered at their own respective steps.