The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) issued a draft Request for Comments (RFC) today seeking public feedback “on the current state of the experimental use exception jurisprudence and whether legislative action should be considered to enact a statutory experimental use exception.” The experimental use defense to patent infringement arises out of jurisprudence dating back to 1813 that allows some non-commercial experimentation with patented subject matter for limited purposes. According to the RFC, since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s 2002 decision in Madey v. Duke University, which clarified the court’s view that the experimental use defense should be “very narrow and strictly limited,” many have weighed in on whether or not the exception should be expanded.

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