"Waiting until the last day of the 2009-2010 term, the Supreme
Court of the United States (SCOTUS) handed down its ruling on
Bilski v. Kappos today, a case that narrowly focuses on the
patentability of a method to hedge weather risks for consumer
energy prices, but more broadly represents the patentability of
"Unfortunately, while the SCOTUS opinion upheld the lower
courts' decision to not allow the specific patent in this case, it
did not agree with the reasoning the lower courts came to their
decision, and has left open the door for continued software patents
for the time being.
"Bilski is the result of the 1998 Court of Appeals for the
Federal Circuit (CAFC) decision in State Street Bank v. Signature
Financial Group, which had the effect of broadening patents to
cover algorithms and abstract concepts. This decision was quickly
interpreted in a way to allow software in the US to be patented,
which has led to an ever-mounting patent semi-cold war of
threatened and applied litigation."
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