Back in July 2022, the new Director of the USPTO, Kathi Vidal, announced that the USPTO would be seeking comments on its anticipated guidance on §101 patent-eligibility. The deadline for those comments is rapidly approaching on September 15, 2022. The announcement was made against the backdrop of the USPTO’s release of a report to Congress related to §101 eligibility earlier in the year, as well as deployment of the new Deferred Subject Matter Eligibility Response (DESMER) pilot program, which was a result of a joint letter from Senators Thom Tillis (R-NC) and Tom Cotton (R-AR) on the impact on patent prosecution as a result of perceived unnecessary applicant responses to §101 rejections in Office Actions.
Further to the above actions, Director Vidal announced on August 31, 2022, a call for collaboration with stakeholders, presumably practitioners and applicants, for clarity and guidance on §101 patent subject matter-eligibility. This is a welcome beginning especially for practitioners given the analytical landlines many practitioners have faced when dealing with a §101 patent subject matter-eligibility rejection in an Office Action.
More information on further initiatives from the USPTO is forthcoming. Of course, we will update the blog accordingly.