Business methods remain eligible for patent protection following U.S. Supreme Court decision by Matt Gibson


On Monday, June 28, 2010, the United States Supreme Court released the long awaited and highly anticipated decision in Bilski v. Kappos, a case involving the patent eligibility of business methods. The case arose out of a patent application for a method of hedging risks in commodities trading. The application was rejected by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (the “USPTO”), on the ground that the subject matter was not eligible for patent protection. In October of 2008, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (the “Federal Circuit”) upheld the rejection on the same ground stating that the claimed methods 1) did not transform an article into a different state or thing or 2) was not tied to a specific machine or apparatus (the “machine or transformation” test). In doing so, the Federal Circuit held that the “machine or transformation” test was the sole test for determining whether a method or process was eligible for patent protection.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft Attorney: Matt Gibson.

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