"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'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."