Supreme Court Rejects Bilski Claims, Overturns "Machine-or-Transformation" Requirement for Patent Eligibility of Processes

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This morning, in a highly anticipated decision, a fractured Supreme Court affirmed the Federal Circuit's judgment in Bilski v. Kappos. The Court unanimously upheld the rejection of Bilski's patent claims, which concerned a process for hedging against the risk of price changes in the energy market. But the Court split on the grounds for rejecting the claims, with the majority characterizing the claims as impermissible attempts to patent abstract ideas while explicitly leaving open the possibility of protecting "business method" inventions in other contexts.

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