McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff LLP

Chicago patent attorneys Kevin E. Noonan, Michael S. Borella, Aaron V. Gin, and Adnan M. "Eddie" Obissi have filed an amicus brief supporting Supreme Court review of the Federal Circuit's decision to invalidate claims of American Axle's U.S. Patent No. 7,774,911 under 35 U.S.C § 101.  The Attorneys (who are all Patent Docs authors or contributors) argue that the Federal Circuit's 6-6 split on whether to rehear the case en banc is compelling evidence that the court is severely divided in how it applies the patent-eligibility analysis of Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int'l.

In finding American Axle's method of manufacturing vibration-damping driveline shafts to be directed to no more than an unclaimed law of physics, the Federal Circuit has misapplied the Supreme Court's Alice test, and in doing so, has called into question the eligibility of any invention, the Attorneys write.  They walk through examples of how the Federal Circuit's application of the test would have rendered iconic historical inventions such as the telephone and light bulb invalid under § 101, whereas proper application of the test would have had the opposite outcome.

The Attorneys urge the Supreme Court to take up this case because the lower courts and the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office desperately need its guidance.  The justices are scheduled to confer on February 19, and the certiorari decision should follow shortly after that.

The brief can be found on the Supreme Court's American Axle docket.