On Monday, June 13, 2016, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board issued its first ever post-grant review decision under the America Invents Act. The Board invalidated two patents challenged by Husch Blackwell client American Simmental Association, a national cattle breed association representing the interests of Simmental cattle breeders in the United States. The ASA successfully argued that two previously issued patents which sought to protect a method of determining the relative market value of feeder cattle based upon genetic merit and physical traits of the animals constituted non-patentable subject matter. The Board agreed and stated that the challenged patents’ methodology were “fundamental concepts” that were “long prevalent in our system of commerce” and that some of the patents’ claims would have been obvious to a person familiar with the relevant technology based on previous inventions.
More information on the first-of-its-kind ruling, Husch Blackwell’s involvement and a link to the Law360 article can be found on our website.