Alice and the mechanical arts

A listener/reader pointed me in the direction of the recent oral argument at the Federal Circuit in Robert Bosch v. ITC.  The case appears to concern patents of inventor/patent attorney Dr. Stephen Gass. The oral argument highlights that §101/Alice arguments are now making their way into the mechanical arts.  One of the parties was making the argument that a claim was directed to the idea of a “safety system” rather than to a particular safety system — which prompted this exchange with Judge Moore:



I suppose it is only natural that litigants are taking the Alice/§101 argument into the realm of the mechanical arts.  When a legal rule is not based on a sound test or even an articulated definition of what constitutes an abstract idea, and instead allows judges to paraphrase claim limitations and then make ipse dixit proclamations that something is an abstract idea, one should expect litigants to press the Alice argument.

Thinking back on the book The Patent Wars and its discussion of the “diaper wars,” I wonder if there are any future Alice/§101 battles to look forward to in the diaper world — now that would be a fitting forum for the Alice decision.

You can listen to the entire oral argument here: [Listen].

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