In anticipation of her likely leaving her government position in January, PTO Under Secretary Michelle Lee gave what appears to be her final speech to a plenary session of the AIPLA in a governmental capacity.  In her luncheon address on October 28th she discussed her controversial Section 101 patent-eligibility policies:

“[P]atent quality … means applying the law accurately and clearly even in areas of the law that are evolving.  Including, for example, the [§] 101 jurisprudence on what is patent eligible subject matter. *** Following major court rulings, we’ve revised our examination guidance *** multiple times and trained our examiners on the new guidance. Based upon input from our stakeholders, we also introduced training focused on clear drafting of [§] 101 rejections and subsequent responses. And, we just announced in a Federal Register Notice two roundtables focused exclusively on the topic of patent eligible subject matter. At the first roundtable, we will discuss potential updates to our examination guidance, and at the second roundtable, we will discuss the impact of the current [§] 101 jurisprudence on innovation, what changes might be considered to further support innovation, and whether such changes are best achieved legislatively, judicially or administratively.”

Regards,
Hal