Friday, June 10, 2016

Dental Laser Patent Not Unpatentable Law of Nature Under 35 U.S.C. § 101

The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss on the ground that plaintiff’s dental laser patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the claims were not directed to a law of nature. "[Defendant] fails to indicate what portion of the patent claims appear to claim for itself a particular equation or law of nature. This is not an example of simply stating 'apply it' after reciting a law of nature. The patent does not, in fact, recite a law of nature. [Defendant's] characterization of what constitutes a law of nature or a natural phenomena for purposes of the [Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014)] step one analysis is precisely what the Alice Court warned would 'swallow all of patent law' when the analysis goes too far. . . . The claims are not directed to the use of the electromagnetic spectrum, or the qualities of light broadly, but are specifically directed to a method and system of using laser beams of ultrashort duration. . . . The discovery that the material-removing properties of ultrashort pulsed lasers have beneficial effects is 'not nature’s handiwork' but rather the work of the inventor of the subject matter here."

Femto Sec Tech, Inc. v. Lensar, Inc., 8-15-cv-01689 (CACD June 8, 2016, Order) (Selna, J.)

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