USPTO Releases “2014 Interim Eligibility Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility”

On December 16, 2014, the USPTO published the “2014 Interim Eligibility Guidance on Patent Subject Matter Eligibility.” 79 Fed. Reg. 74618.  Although the guidelines do not carry the force of law, they serve as a manual for examiners  facing patent eligibility issues stemming from four recent Supreme Court decisions:  Bilski, Mayo, Myriad, and Alice.   Collectively, these decisions concern several exceptions to patent eligibility:  natural phenomena, abstract idea, and product of nature exceptions.   The analysis contained in the report contains numerous examples demonstrating eligible and ineligible subject matter with respect to each of these categories.   A link to the USPTO publication can be found here: http://patentlyo.com/media/2014/12/FR-for-101-guidance.pdf.