Trick or Treat? The Federal Circuit Court Restricts Protection of Business Method Patents by Chad McLawhorn

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On October 30, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (“Federal Circuit”) issued its greatly anticipated decision in In re Bilski, Case No. 2007-1130, which addressed the patentability of business methods. The majority opinion ruled that a claimed process is eligible subject matter for patentability if (1) it is tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or (2) it transforms a particular article into a different state or thing. Thus, the Federal Circuit has limited to some extent the protection of business method patents.

Article authored by McAfee & Taft attorney: Chad McLawhorn.

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