America’s First Patents

My post today is a pointer to my guest post at the Patently-O blog called America’s First Patents. Here is the first paragraph:

My forthcoming Florida Law Review article, America’s First Patents, examines every available patent issued during the first 50 years of patenting in the United States.  A full draft is accessible at this SSRN page. The article reaches three conclusions:

  1. Our patentable subject matter jurisprudence with respect to methods can, in part, blame its current unclarity on early decisions by a few important judges to import British law into the new patent system.
  2. Early patenting trends suggest that Congress has never intended new subject areas be limited until Congress explicitly allowed the new subject area.
  3. The machine-or-transformation test, which allows a method patent only if the process involves a machine or transforms matter, has no basis in historic patenting practices.