Supreme Court Confines Business Method Patents

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In Bilski v.Kappos, the Supreme Court unanimously ruled on Monday that a non-computer-implemented commodities risk-hedging business method is not patent-eligible because such an invention is merely an abstract idea. In doing so, the Court signaled that business method patents would generally be confined under a standard only slightly broader than the Federal Circuits machine or-transformation test.

While all of the Justices were in agreement that Bilskis invention was merely an abstract idea, the Court fractured when attempting to enunciate the precise standards for determining when process inventions, particularly business method inventions, become patent eligible.

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