Originally published in 9-10/2011 China IP, www.chinaipmagazine.com.
The U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Bilski ensures that the door to patenting business method inventions remains open in America. This ends speculation that the Court might find such inventions categorically unpatentable. The Bilski ruling is good news for clean energy innovators in Asia. It helps ensure that the U.S. patent protection system stays robust. This will spur innovation and attract investment capital needed for research, development, and commercialization of clean energy technologies.
The Bilski patent application claimed a business method for buyers and sellers in the energy market to protect, or hedge, against changes in the demand for, or price of, energy. The U.S. Patent Office rejected the invention as unpatentable, reasoning that it “is not implemented on a specific apparatus and merely manipulates an abstract idea.”
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