On June 7, 2018, USPTO Deputy Commissioner for Patent Examination Procedure Robert W. Bahr issued a Memorandum on Recent Subject Matter Eligibility Decision: Vanda Pharmaceuticals Inc. v. West-Ward Pharmaceuticals.
The Memorandum reviews the Federal Circuit’s April 13, 2018, decision in the Vanda case, which held claims directed to methods of treatment that included “arguably conventional genotyping and treatment steps” to be patent eligible. Memorandum at 2. The Memorandum states that the USPTO’s subject matter eligibility guidance is consistent with the Vanda decision: “(1) ‘method of treatment’ claims that practically apply natural relationships should be considered patent eligible under Step 2A of the USPTO’s subject matter eligibility guidance; and (2) it is not necessary for ‘method of treatment’ claims that practically apply natural relationships to include nonroutine or unconventional steps to be considered patent eligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101.” Memorandum at 2-3.
Readers are encouraged to read the Memorandum, also available on USPTO’s website.