Home > Online > The Obviousness Requirement in the Patent Law

The Obviousness Requirement in the Patent Law

In this debate, Professor R. Polk Wagner, of Penn, and Professor Katherine J. Strandburg, of DePaul University College of Law, consider the merits (and demerits) of one doctrinal approach to the so called “obviousness” requirement in patent law-the “teaching, suggestion, or motivation” (TSM) test. In Wagner’s view, “even with its imperfections, the law and policy of the TSM analysis, done right, offers the best opportunity to bring predictability, transparency, and rigor to what is, at the end of the day, the enormously difficult task of quantifying what the patent law rewards as invention.” For reasons she explains, Strandburg maintains that “the current version of the TSM test” is not the “‘best available’ means of assessing obviousness” and argues for the abolition of the TSM requirement in favor of other alternatives.