Bilski Briefs Span Wide Range of Positions


On June 1, the Supreme Court agreed to decide a case that will have a great impact on what types of inventions can be patented. The case, Bilski v. Doll, deals with a patent application for an “Energy Risk Management Method.” The claims of this application have to do with hedging risks associated with a commodity, for example, the use of more or less energy than expected due to fluctuations in weather. This might seem a niche issue, but the court is expected to address the extent to which processes of various sorts deserve patent protection. The importance of this decision was underscored by the fact that over 50 parties have filed amicus curiae briefs in this case to date. The various presentations of the amici highlight why this issue is so important.

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