Feb. 14: Brief of Entrepreneurial and Consumer Advocates Amici Curiae in Support of Respondent SKH

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  • A “process” under § 101 of the Patent Act has historically been limited to technological processes
  • Congress did not intend for all processes to be patentable under § 101 - only those that advance technological progress
  • A technological process advances the development, understanding, or application of a machine, manufacture, or composition of matter
  • By their nature, non-technological business and service innovators do not need patent incentives because they have less intensive R&D costs than technological innovators
  • Non-technological innovations in business and service disciplines are often more diffuse and collaborative and thus fall outside of the classic patent “reward” paradigm
  • Extending patent protection to non-technological methods in business and services would disrupt settled expectations and impose substantial additional costs on innovators and investors
  • Small businesses, individual entrepreneurs, and start-up companies would face new and potentially insurmountable barriers to entry if non-technological methods were patentable
  • Follow-on innovators would likely have to divert current R&D funding into defensive patenting
  • Reinforcing the long-standing technological limit on § 101 processes would improve judicial and administrative efficiency
  • Strong § 101 limitations allow the PTO to efficiently reject non-technological patent applications
  • Meaningful § 101 limitations allow courts to efficiently dismiss non-technological patent litigation