In his opus to posterity
Clarence the Justice Clown
(aka Justice Thomas **)
"... the concern that drives this exclusionary principle [is] one of pre-emption. ...
Laws of nature,
and abstract ideas
are the basic tools of scientific and technological work. ... [M]onopolization of those tools through the grant of a patent might tend to impede innovation more than it would tend to promote it, thereby thwarting the primary object of the patent laws--see U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8, cl. 8 (Congress "shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts [stop quote here before real stuff about "inventors" shows up]". We have repeatedly emphasized this ... concern that patent law not inhibit further discovery by improperly tying up the future use of these building blocks of human ingenuity."
See Alice in BlonderLand
ALICE CORPORATION PTY. LTD. v. CLS BANK INTERNATIONAL et al. 134 S.Ct. 2347 (2014)
When the black robed confab convenes up in high and mighty DC, we are all expected to genuflect in awe and admiration of all their Mount Olympus proclamations.
But what really does Clarence the Clown's poetic prose say?
Let's think for ourselves.
(.., a rarely utilized activity)
"Laws of nature
... and abstract ideas"
Isn't that just a fancy, Mount Olympus two-for-one bargain way of saying "thinking"?
After all, these so-called abstract idea thingies seem to pop up when we put on our Clarence thinking caps, sit in the corner and drool over matters deep and confounding.
And those "Law of Nature" things are they not the result of Mother ah-Natural coming down from Mt. Olympus with clay tablets clutched to her bosom and revealing to us "her" laws?
They are just a fancy way of saying that we barely-haired apes think we are thinking right about how the universe is put together.
Often we get it wrong.
E= m * c^2 ?
Are we sure about this m=mass thing?
Is that how the universe really works?
(Where is the Dark Matter Mr. Einstein? And what of the missing Dark Energy?)
(And about that money stuff, does it really make the world go round?)
Historically speaking, we upright walking apes used to think that just thinking about the Universe was good enough. Maybe Clarence and friends are intellectually still stuck back there in the Dark Ages. For example, for the longest of times no one bothered to dissect a human body and see what was really going on. They just made up stuff about bad humours, bloodletting and leeches on the basis of "mere thinking" --the stuff that Clarence and crowd believe constitutes the basic building blocks of "science" and human "genius" (aka ingenuity).
Other examples of the pre-scientific approach include the philosophies of Socrates on the "nature" of things.
While noble in its "common sense" approach to understanding the Universe, the "thinking things through" approach turns out more often than not to be WRONG WRONG WRONG.
Of course it is unfair to take advantage of Justice Thomas's first given name. It is not his fault that it alliteratively matches with clown.
Then again, it is more unfair that so-called "friends" of the court take advantage of the total incompetence of ALL NINE Justices in matters of science, complex technology and the esoteric area of patent practice. ALL NINE Justices deserve to be chastised for allowing themselves to be victims of their own vanity and fear (fear in being found out to not be the "smartest" human beings on this side of the planet).
ALL NINE Justices signed off on the absurdity known as Alice v. CLS Bank.
"Thinking" is not the building block of progress in science and useful arts.
Experimental falsification is. (Because the point is to experimentally re-validate universal hypotheses due to continued lack of falsification.)
Thomas Edison did not in a "Flash of Genius"
invent the low voltage, long lasting electric light bulb.
No, he "discovered."
He conducted these things called "experiments" (not thinko-thons).
Justice Thomas and his fellow 8 other science clowns ought to know that!
The "Edison" one of the Thomases had an abstract idea, a hypothesis.
He hypothesized that a conductive material could be found that heats up enough to give off light and yet does not melt at the light shedding temperature.
He conducted "routine" experiments, trying one material after the next,
until he found the "natural phenomenon" of a material that lights but does not melt.
According to our "enlightened" 21st Century Gang of Nine, the Edison one of the Thomases (not to be confused with the Clarence the Clown one) did not have patent "eligible" subject matter because his claims are "directed to" the abstract idea of a conductive material that does not melt at the light shedding temperature and to the "natural phenomenon" of that material. Edison did nothing more than employ conventional, routine experiments to ferret out that natural phenomenon.
Kind of the same as what happened in Myriad v. ACLU, huh?
In each case the inventor gets to say:
I hypothesized an abstract idea.
Then I conducted experiments using natural phenomenon and routine procedures.
Ergo my discoveries are not "patent eligible"
On the other hand, the US Constitution says: To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.
Clarence and friends don't know no science.
Don't know algebra or history
All they know is that they don't love this new fangled technology.
It confounds and befuddles them.
Pluck a leaf off a tree?
Lathe a baseball bat out of its trunk?
Is that how I get to making a specific and isolated DNA fragment?
It's all so confusing.
Let's remind ourselves what Clarence said:
Laws of nature,
and abstract ideas
are the basic tools of scientific and technological work. ... [M]onopolization of those tools through the grant of a patent might tend to impede innovation more than it would tend to promote it, thereby thwarting the primary object of the patent laws--see U.S. Const., Art. I, § 8, cl. 8 (Congress "shall have Power ... To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts [stop quote here before real stuff about "inventors" shows up]".
So far we've discussed the two ways of engaging in pure thinking (abstract ideas and man-fabricated ideas about what Mother's laws might be) --none of which is "science", but we have left alone the nonsense verbiage of "natural phenomenon".
The entire physical Universe is part of Nature and thus everything is "natural phenomenon". People are part of nature (we are animals like it or not) and thus everything we do is "natural phenomenon". That logically means all inventions are "natural phenomenon".
What the Mount Olympus clown cartel probably meant to say, was stuff that happens all the time without the intervention of man. In that case, the so-called "natural phenomenon" is not novel, it fails under 102. Even 101 talks about inventing "new" and useful stuff. The so-called "natural phenomenon" is not a special "exception" because it was never in the equation to begin with.