Bilski v. Kappos: Machine-or-Transformation Test Provides Only a Clue to the Eligibility of a Process as Patentable Subject Matter


On June 28, 2010, the United States Supreme Court ("the Court") announced a decision addressing the definition of patentable

subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. In Bilski v. Kappos, 561 U.S. ____ (2010), a unanimous Court affirmed the judgment of

the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ("the Federal Circuit"), ruling that Bernard Bilski's claims directed to risk hedging in the commodities markets are unpatentable under §101. However, though the opinion agreed with the result reached by the

Federal Circuit, the Court corrected what it viewed as an overly narrow interpretation of the statute by the Federal Circuit.

Hearing Bilski's appeal of a patent application rejection, the Federal Circuit held that the "machine-or-transformation test" is the sole test for patentability under 35 U.S.C. § 101. According to this test, a claimed process is patent-eligible if "(1) it is tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or (2) it transforms a particular article into a different state or thing."

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Armstrong Teasdale LLP | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Armstrong Teasdale LLP on:

JD Supra Readers' Choice 2016 Awards
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.