Currently, the United States Supreme Court requires a fact-specific approach to determine whether a patent claim is eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101, even though, traditionally, this has been considered a question of law. However, recently, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit introduced the “manifestly evident” standard. The court held that when it is not manifestly evident that a claim is directed to a patent-ineligible abstract idea, then that claim must be deemed patent-eligible subject matter.
This Comment suggests that the manifestly evident standard, or one similar to it, will reduce litigation costs. This is because, under the current fact-specific requirements, it may become commonplace for courts to engage in formal claim construction, a costly pre-trial process, to decide whether these requirements are met. But under the manifestly evident standard, courts and litigants will be able to quickly move past the often confusing section 101 to the later sections of the Patent Act, which courts are better prepared to confront.
It’s Not So Obvious: How the Manifestly Evident Standard Affects Litigation Costs by Reducing the Need for Claim Construction,
Tex. A&M L. Rev.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.tamu.edu/lawreview/vol1/iss3/10