Tonight, let's return to Gene Quinn's final segment of his interview with Mark Lemley. One exchange suggests the motive for a highly restrictive 35 USC 101 eligibility standard. Tech wanted a tool to cheaply kill patent infringement actions. No discovery required for this coarse filter!
QUINN: "But by the same token I would be so much more comfortable handling these cases under 102, 103, and 112 because like Judge Newman says, if you handle technologies under 101 you’re potentially forestalling an entire avenue of innovation and preventing an entire industry from developing."
LEMLEY: "I think that’s right. The problem is 101 is an attractive tool to people who are confronting those nuisance suits because it’s early and it’s easy, right? And it doesn’t require going through a lot of the facts, discovery, and work that can cost a lot of money if there were better mechanisms to try to get at those weak suits earlier and more cheaply you know then people could use those mechanisms. But the problem is that I’ve got somebody who shows up and says it’s going to cost you $3 million to get the summary judgment on your obviousness claim and probably courts aren’t going to grant summary judgment and they’ll send it to trial anyway. So why don’t you pay me a million dollars to go away. Everybody’s decision is to pay million dollars."
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