I'm an attorney trying to invalidate a patent that I believe is directed to patent-ineligible subject matter. It's been an interesting exercise, and I'd love to hear other ideas/suggestions/etc. on how to approach it. At a high level, the patent claims certain structures with a certain desirable property. The patent discloses two methods of generating these structures with this property. The thing is, people have been using those two methods to create these structures with this property well before the patent came out -- people weren't sure why these two methods produced the desired property, but they did. The patentee's contribution was to figure out the physics behind why the two methods generated the desirable property in these structures. He then worked the "why" into his patent claim to overcome the Patent & Trademark Office's objections that his "invention" was not new. Essentially, the patentee discovered that these two methods had certain effects on the structures at the atomic level, and these atomic-level effects were what gave rise to the desired property. He thus claimed structures (1) created by one of these two methods (2) with the desirable property that (3) exhibited the particular atomic arrangement which he discovered was causing the desirable property. The "novelty" of his invention therefore lies entirely in (3), but I do not think that is a proper basis for patentable subject matter. The patent is extremely dense, however, and I would like a simple analogy to help the judge see the rationale without getting bogged down in the technical details. One analogy I've been kicking around: electrical engineers in the 1800s designed useful devices like the telegraph without actually understanding the physics of why the devices worked -- why electricity does what it does -- until years later when Maxwell came along. And Maxwell's discoveries, while groundbreaking, are not patentable. Any other ideas of cases where people made (or did) something that worked without fully understanding why until years later when physicists figured it out? Any other thoughts or suggestions generally? Thanks!