Bilski: The End of Mental Methods?

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In a recent appeal from a Board of Patent Appeals decision, the Federal Circuit affirmed the Board's rejection of a patent application's claims directed to a process for hedging risk in commodities markets because the claims were not patent-eligible under § 101. Key Points: 1) The Federal Circuit rejected the current test for patentability of processes and adopted a narrower standard. 2) Patent protection for business methods must somehow be tied to a machine or the true purpose of the method must transform an article or data to a different state or thing. Royal W. Craig, Jed R. Spencer, Christopher F. Lonegro, and Kyle E. Conklin of Ober|Kaler look at the case.

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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.

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