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Mossoff Files Amicus Brief Seeking Review of Controversial Patent Decision

On April 20, 2016, Professor Adam Mossoff filed an amicus brief on behalf of 19 professors in support of a petition for a writ of certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court involving a controversial patent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. In Ariosa Diagnostics, Inc. v. Sequenom, Inc., the Federal Circuit upheld a lower court decision that invalidated Sequenom Laboratories' patent on a diagnostic test for fetal abnormalities. The court found that the patent was invalid under Supreme Court decisions like  Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories and Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International.

Professor Adam Mossoff
Professor Adam Mossoff

Excerpts from the Brief of 19 Professors:

The amici curiae includes 19 law professors who teach and write on patent law and policy, and are thus concerned with the integrity of the legal system that secures innovation to its creators and to the companies that commercialize it in the marketplace. Although the members of the amici may differ amongst themselves on other aspects of modern patent law and policy, they are united in their professional opinion that this court should grant certiorari because the Federal Circuit's decision in this case undermines the function of the patent system to promote and to legally secure twenty-first-century innovation.

The Federal Circuit's decision invalidates legitimate innovation deserving of protection by the patent system after it analytically dissolved the relevant claim language into its component elements and thus concluded that it was ineligible subject matter. Petitioners in this case and other amici detail the many failings by the lower courts and the PTO in misapplying the Mayo - Alice test, and thus the amici here identify a further key insight: when lower courts and the PTO apply the Mayo - Alice to individual claim elements and do not evaluate the claim as a whole, they are using a methodological approach that conflicts with this Court's existing precedents and leads to an over-inclusive application of the test that invalidates legitimate innovation.