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What Does the Supreme Court’s Bilski v Kappos Decision Mean?


Key Ruling on “Processes” as Patentable Subject Matter

On Monday, June 28, 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down its highly-anticipated opinion in the case of Bilski v. Kappos, Case No. 08-964. The Supreme Court affirmed the decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit and held that the subject matter of Mr. Bilski’s patent application directed to a risk hedging method was not patentable subject matter because it was too abstract. Interestingly, the Supreme Court did not categorically reject business methods as unpatentable subject matter. This is one of the most important decisions affecting patents in the past decade.

This decision will have profound impact on any patents involving computer software, business methods, and medical diagnostic procedures.

This second screening of our June 30 webinar reviewed the Bilski v. Kappos case discussed in detail its potential effects on your patent strategy. We covered the following topics:

  • What is the practical impact of Bilski v. Kappos on patenting strategies?
  • What will happen to existing patents?
  • What is the status of the Federal Circuit's "machine-or-transformation" test for patent eligibility of processes?
  • What, if any, steps can companies take to obtain computer software and business method patents?
  • What can companies do to defend against such patents?
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