On March 4, 2014, the USPTO published a memorandum, Guidances for Determining Subject Matter Eligibility of Claims Reciting Or Involving Laws of Nature, Natural Phenomena, and/or Natural Products.
As stated in the memorandum "the new procedure set forth in the Guidance will assist examiners in determining whether a claim reflects a significant difference from what exists in nature and thus is eligible, or whether a claim is effectively drawn to something that is naturally occurring, like the claims found ineligible by the Supreme Court in Myriad."
As some commentators have pointed out the US Supreme Court is not the origin of the "significant difference test," but as a practical matter I expect many applicants in the chemical and biotech industries will be required to show how the claims are significantly different than the judicial exceptions to persuade examiners that the claims are patent eligible under 35 USC 101.
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