[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 74 (Thursday, April 17, 2014)]
[Notices]
[Pages 21736-21738]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-08759]


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DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE

Patent and Trademark Office

[Docket No. PTO-P-2014-0024]


Notice of Forum on the Guidance For Determining Subject Matter 
Eligibility of Claims Reciting or Involving Laws of Nature, Natural 
Phenomena, and Natural Products

AGENCY: United States Patent and Trademark Office, Commerce.

ACTION: Notice of public meeting.

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SUMMARY: The United States Patent and Trademark Office (Office) is 
hosting a forum to receive public feedback from organizations and 
individuals on its guidance memorandum titled, ``Guidance For 
Determining Subject Matter Eligibility of Claims Reciting or Involving 
Laws of Nature, Natural Phenomena, and Natural Products (Laws of 
Nature/Natural Products Guidance),'' issued on March 4, 2014 and 
available at www.uspto.gov/patents/announce/myriad-mayo.jsp. The Laws 
of Nature/Natural Products Guidance implemented a new procedure to 
address changes in the law relating to subject matter eligibility under 
35 U.S.C. 101 in view of recent Supreme Court precedent. The forum will 
be open for any member of the public to participate. The forum will 
provide an opportunity for participants to present their interpretation 
of the impact of Supreme Court precedent on the complex legal and 
technical issues involved in subject matter eligibility analyses during 
patent examination. Participants who believe that the Supreme Court 
decisions could be implemented in an alternative manner from the 
approach taken in the Laws of Nature/Natural Products Guidance should 
use the forum to present their alternative approach and the legal 
rationale for the alternative. The forum also can be used by 
participants to suggest additional examples for use by the Office to 
create a more complete picture of the impact of Supreme Court precedent 
on subject matter eligibility.

[[Page 21737]]


DATES: Event: The forum will be held on May 9, 2014, beginning at 1:00 
p.m. Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), and ending at 4:00 p.m. EDT.
    Registration: Registration is required to attend the forum in 
person or via webcast. Additionally, members of the public who wish to 
participate in the forum as a speaker must do so by request in writing 
no later than April 25, 2014. See the ``Registration Information'' 
section of this notice for additional details on how to register.

ADDRESSES: Event: The forum will be held in the Madison Auditorium 
North on the concourse level of the Madison Building, which is located 
at 600 Dulany Street, Alexandria, Virginia 22314.
    Comments: Any member of the public, whether attending the forum or 
not, may submit written comments for consideration by the Office. There 
is no deadline for receipt of written comments. Persons submitting 
written comments should note that the Office will not necessarily 
provide a response. Written comments should be sent by electronic mail 
addressed to myriad-mayo_2014@uspto.gov. Comments also may be 
submitted by mail addressed to: Mail Stop Comments--Patents, 
Commissioner for Patents, P.O. Box 1450, Alexandria, VA 22313-1450, 
marked to the attention of Raul Tamayo. Although comments may be 
submitted by mail, the Office prefers to receive comments via the 
Internet.
    Comments will be available via the Office's Internet Web site at 
http://www.uspto.gov/patents/announce/myriad-mayo.jsp. Because comments 
will be available for public inspection, information that is not 
desired to be made public, such as an address or phone number, should 
not be included in the comments.
    Event Registration Information: There is no fee to register for the 
forum, and registration will be on a first-come, first-served basis. 
Members of the public who would like to be considered to participate in 
the forum as a speaker must do so by request in writing no later than 
April 25, 2014. Registration on the day of the forum will be permitted 
for members of the public who wish solely to observe on a space-
available basis beginning 30 minutes before the forum.
    To register, please send an email message to myriad-mayo_2014@uspto.gov and provide the following information: (1) Your name, 
title, and if applicable, company or organization, address, phone 
number, and email address; (2) whether you wish to attend in person or 
via webcast; and (3) if you wish to make an oral presentation at the 
forum, the specific topic you intend to address, and the approximate 
desired length of your presentation. Each attendee, even if from the 
same organization, must register separately.
    Due to time constraints, there is the potential that not all 
persons who wish to make a presentation will be accommodated. After 
reviewing the list of potential speakers and the information regarding 
the presentations provided in the registration, the Office plans to 
select speakers in a manner that ensures that the Office is receiving a 
balanced array of views. The Office will contact each selected speaker 
prior to the event with the amount of time available and the 
approximate time that the speaker's presentation is scheduled to begin. 
The amount of time available for each presentation may be limited to 
ensure that all persons selected to speak will have a meaningful chance 
to do so. Speakers must send the final electronic copies of their 
presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint or Microsoft Word to myriad-mayo_2014@uspto.gov by April 25, 2014, so that the presentation can be 
displayed at the forum. If time permits, the Office will provide an 
opportunity for persons in the audience not previously selected as 
speakers to speak at the forum without a formal presentation.
    The Office plans to make the forum available via webcast. Webcast 
information, as well as a list of forum participants and their 
associations, will be available on the Office's Internet Web site 
before the forum at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/announce/myriad-mayo.jsp.
    If special accommodations due to a disability are needed, please 
inform the contact person(s) identified below.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Requests for additional information 
regarding the forum should be directed to Raul Tamayo, Senior Legal 
Advisor, Office of Patent Legal Administration, by telephone at 571-
272-7728, or by email to raul.tamayo@uspto.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: The Office issued the Laws of Nature/Natural 
Products Guidance on March 4, 2014 and made it available via the 
Office's Internet Web site at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/announce/myriad-mayo.jsp. The Laws of Nature/Natural Products Guidance states 
that it is for use in subject matter eligibility determinations of all 
claims (i.e., machine, composition, manufacture, and process claims) 
reciting or involving laws of nature/natural principles, natural 
phenomena, and/or natural products. The Laws of Nature/Natural Products 
Guidance addresses the impact of Association for Molecular Pathology v. 
Myriad Genetics, Inc.\1\ (Myriad) on the Supreme Court's long-standing 
``rule against patents on naturally occurring things,'' as expressed in 
its earlier precedent including Diamond v. Chakrabarty \2\ 
(Chakrabarty), and Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus 
Laboratories, Inc.\3\ (Mayo). Links to copies of these Supreme Court 
decisions, as well as a link to the Supreme Court's decision in Funk 
Brothers Seed Co. v. Kalo Inoculant Co.,\4\ are available at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/announce/myriad-mayo.jsp.
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    \1\ 569 U.S. ----, 133 S. Ct. 2107, 106 USPQ2d 1972 (2013).
    \2\ 447 U.S. 303 (1980).
    \3\ 566 U.S. ----, 132 S. Ct. 1289, 101 USPQ2d 1961 (2012).
    \4\ 333 U.S. 127 (1948).
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    Since releasing the Laws of Nature/Natural Products Guidance, the 
Office has provided a first round of training for the examiners in 
Technology Centers (TCs) most likely to be impacted by the Laws of 
Nature/Natural Products Guidance (e.g., TC 1600 and 1700). The slides 
used to train the examiners are available at http://www.uspto.gov/patents/announce/myriad-mayo.jsp. The Office is currently working on 
developing a second round of more in-depth examiner training. In 
addition, the Office established an email box (myriad-mayo_2014@uspto.gov) for members of the public to provide feedback on any 
aspect of the Laws of Nature/Natural Products Guidance rollout, 
including the Laws of Nature/Natural Products Guidance document itself 
and the training slides.
    The forum will provide a more direct opportunity for members of the 
public to present their interpretation of the impact of the Supreme 
Court's decisions in, e.g., Myriad, Mayo, Chakrabarty, and Funk on the 
complex legal and technical issues involved in subject matter 
eligibility analyses during patent examination. The Office would like 
for members of the public who believe that the Supreme Court decisions 
could be implemented in an alternative manner from the approach taken 
in the Laws of Nature/Natural Products Guidance to use the forum to 
present their alternative approach and the legal rationale for the 
alternative. The forum also can be used by the public to suggest 
additional examples for use by the Office to create a more complete 
picture of the impact of Supreme Court precedent on subject matter 
eligibility. The Office will carefully consider all feedback it 
receives.


[[Page 21738]]


    Dated: April 11, 2014.
Michelle K. Lee,
Deputy Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Deputy 
Director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
[FR Doc. 2014-08759 Filed 4-16-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 3510-16-P