On March 20, 2012, the Supreme Court of the United States issued a landmark decision in the patent infringement case of Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Labs., Inc. The unanimous opinion, authored by Justice Stephen Breyer, held that abstract ideas and laws of nature are not patentable subject matter. The repercussions of this groundbreaking decision will be felt throughout the patent community, affecting patents and patent applications particularly in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries.
To support the ruling, Justice Breyer cited the scholarship of Villanova University School of Law Associate Professor Michael Risch twice in the opinion. Risch—whose articles Everything is Patentable, 75 Tenn. L. Rev. 591 (2008) and Life After Bilski, 63 Stan. L. Rev. 1315 (2011) were cited—is a leader in intellectual property law scholarship.
“Getting cited by the Supreme Court is like the Holy Grail for law professors,” said Risch. “Having my work read by the justices of the Supreme Court is both flattering and exhilarating. It has also opened new doors, as others have looked at my work who might not have before.”
At Villanova University School of Law, Risch teaches courses in intellectual property law, patent law and cyber law. Click here to learn more about Professor Risch.