The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has released another guidance memo for patents derived ‘from nature’ (H/T ScienceInsider). The USPTO released its first memo in March, and between negative public comments and additional court action, releasing new guidance makes sense to me.
It also means that with additional court action likely in the near future, this new memo is unlikely to be the last one. If you need an additional reason, the planned January meeting hosted by USPTO should suffice. Comments are being accepted on the new guidance until March 16, and the public forum scheduled for January 21 will provide additional opportunity for comments.
The new guidance uses a two-step process for determining patent eligibility. Is the claim directed to a law of nature, a natural phenomenon, or an abstract idea? If so, then it is not eligible, unless there are additional elements cited in the claim that amount to significantly more than the law, phenomenon or idea. To help provide additional detail, the USPTO is developing examples.