Committee Reports

Brief For the New York City Bar Association as Amicus Curiae Supporting Grant of Petition for Writ of Certiorari in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC et al.


The Patents Committee filed an amicus brief in support of granting certiorari in American Axle & Manufacturing, Inc. v. Neapco Holdings LLC, et al. In this case, the Federal Circuit held that a patent claim directed to a mechanical device (an automobile driveshaft) did not qualify as patentable subject matter under Section 101 of the Patent Act of 1952 because the claim supposedly relied on an unstated natural law. The Federal Circuit’s expansion of nonpatentable subject matter to a mechanical device is a departure from the computer-implemented algorithmic inventions and biotechnology inventions based on correlations of naturally-occurring markers that have been the focus of the Supreme Court’s recent Section 101 caselaw. The amicus brief urges the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in order to stem the Federal Circuit’s unfettered expansion of Section 101, which risks throwing off balance the incentives to innovation that the patent system is designed to promote.