The Supreme Court should say no to patents that take old ideas away from the public
There is room to debate what makes an invention patentable, but one thing should be uncontroversial: patentable inventions should actually be new. That’s what EFF and the R Street Institute told the Supreme Court this week in an amicus brief urging it to grant certiorari and reverse the Federal Circuit’s decision in Ariosa v. Illumina [PDF]. We explained that the Federal Circuit’s decision is wrong on the law and bad for innovation, access to knowledge, and the patent system.
EFF and R Street’s brief emphasizes the need for the Supreme Court to confirm what should be uncontroversial: to be patentable, inventions must be new. That follows from the Constitution’s mandate that the patent system promote innovation and technological progress. It is also consistent with the words of the Patent Act and the statements that Congress made when writing those words into law.