The Supreme Court’s Artificial and Fictitious Patent-Eligibility Test
Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo once cautioned that “there is a loss too of simplicity and directness, an increasing aspect of unreality, of something artificial and fictitious, when judges mask a change of substance, or gloss over its importance, by the suggestion of a consistency that is merely verbal and scholastic.” Many moons ago, I began drafting a blog post, trying to view the Supreme Court’s patent-eligibility jurisprudence through Justice Cardozo’s lens. Instead of ending up with a blog post, the effort led me, for the many moons, on an “academic” journey. Law360 published the result this month in Part 1 and Part 2 (subscription required). It is now available for all to view here on the Roberts Mlotkowski website.
The Supreme Court’s Artificial and Fictitious Patent Test demonstrates that the Court’s current jurisprudence concerning patent subject-matter eligibility masks a significant change of substance. The Court distorts its precedent and pretends that a brand-new two-step test for determining patent eligibility has been the law for over a century and a half when in fact it is a four-year-old fabrication. While attorneys must respect this test because the Supreme Court tells us to apply it, we should also respect the legal system of the United States by continuously criticizing it.