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Here's Bilski: It's Affirmed, But . . .No Decision on Software Patentability

Jun 28, 2010, 15:34 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Pamela Jones)

"Here's the US Supreme Court's opinion [PDF] in Bilski v. Kappos, at last. The lower court's decision is affirmed, and so no patent for Bilski. However, business methods are not found totally ineligible for patents, just this one. Not everyone on the court agrees in all particulars. So it's complicated, and obviously not all we hoped for. However, what is clear is that the "machine or transformation test," while useful, is not the sole test for eligibility to obtain a patent. That was what the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit had decided was the sole test. The US Supreme Court decided not to decide today about the patentability of software.

"Yes, Justice Ruth Ginsburg is on the bench, despite losing her husband in death yesterday. All the other decisions will be listed here.

"Here's a snip mentioning software, beginning on page 13 of the PDF, 9 of the opinion:

"The machine-or-transformation test may well provide a sufficient basis for evaluating processes similar to those in the Industrial Age—for example, inventions grounded in a physical or other tangible form. But there are reasons to doubt whether the test should be the sole criterion for determining the patentability of inventions in the Information Age."

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