Supreme Court Decides Business Process Patent Case

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A few weeks ago in this blog we alerted you to Bilski v. Kappos, 561 U. S. ____ (2010) because the case had the potential to be important in that the Supreme Court might consider the question of whether or not business methods qualified as “process patents,” — those patents filed to protect processes rather than concrete inventions. On June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited decision in Bilski v. Kappos, addressing the patentability of process patent claims under 35 U.S.C. § 101 (the “Patent Act”). While the court did not reject the concept of business process patents nor did it make any effort to provide new criteria that would further limit the patentability of business methods, it did clarify somewhat the criteria for an effective process patent. The Supreme Court also indicated the possibility that courts may later find that the Patent Act forbids patenting certain types of business methods.

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