“Assessing the Impact of American Axle Six Months Out”

May 13, 2020
IPWatchdog

Partners Tiffany Gehrke and Ryan Schermerhorn co-authored the article "Assessing the Impact of American Axle Six Months Out" for IPWatchdog, which published on May 13, 2020, discussing the impact the case American Axle v. Neapco has had on prosecution and litigation in the mechanical arts.

When the Federal Circuit decided American Axle v. Neapco, invalidating claims for a method for manufacturing propshafts as being directed to ineligible subject matter under section 101, the initial reaction was mainly criticism and prompted many to discuss practical tips for drafting claims to avoid this same result.

Six months later, anecdotal evidence and prosecution data demonstrate that the case has not affected the prosecution of mechanical inventions before the USPTO in any significant way. That said, because the case is still only six months out and there are potentially thousands of pending mechanical applications to be examined, it is unclear if the decision will significantly impact the future of prosecution of mechanical patent applications.

In terms of litigation, while the American Axle case has been cited in a handful of opinions over the last six months, courts and litigants are likely waiting to see the result of the petition for rehearing en banc.

“Only time will tell whether American Axle will have a long term impact on patent prosecution or litigation or whether it was merely a blip on the radar of Alice and its prodigy,” the authors conclude.

Readers may access Tiffany and Ryan's full article "Assessing the Impact of American Axle Six Months Out" on IPWatchdog.

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