Viveve, Inc. v. ThermiGen, LLC et al, 2-16-cv-01189 (TXED April 20, 2017, Order) (Gilstrap, USDJ)
Monday, April 24, 2017
Human Tissue Remodeling Patent Claiming “Application and Synthetization of Natural Law Into a Concrete Process” Not Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
The court denied defendant's motion to dismiss on the ground that plaintiff’s human tissue remodeling patent encompassed unpatentable subject matter because the asserted claims were not directed toward a natural law or phenomenon. "Defendants first argue that claim 51 is directed to unpatentable subject matter because it is covers a law of nature: namely, 'the natural phenomenon that heat denatures collagen and causes remodeling – i.e., tightening, or any change in the structure – of the heated tissue.'. . . [H]ere the Court is presented with a method patent comprising concrete steps, premised upon a discovery of natural law rendering the relevant subject matter amenable to certain processes. . . . The [patent-in-suit] stands in stark contrast to those patents which the Federal Circuit has invalidated as directed to a natural law or natural phenomenon. In those cases, the patents typically encompass the pure observation or identification of the natural law at issue. . . . In this case, however . . . [the patent] claims the application and synthetization of a natural law into a concrete process, which builds upon the subject matter’s capability of undergoing the process."