Business Method Patents Survive Bilski


This morning, the U.S. Supreme Court issued its eagerly awaited decision in Bilski v. Kappos. The Court affirmed the Federal Circuit’s judgment that Bilski’s particular business method for hedging consumption risk was not eligible for a patent. The Court, however, rejected the machine-or-transformation test as the “sole test” for patent eligibility. And the Court expressly stated that the Patent Act does not categorically exclude business methods from patent eligibility. Instead, the Court relied on its previous precedent to reject petitioners’ patent as “an unpatentable abstract idea.”

By requiring a more flexible approach, the Court’s decision may benefit those seeking – or trying to enforce – not just business method patents, but also method patents in a broad range of technologies.

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