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Business-Method Patent Challenge Heads to High Court

Publication Date: 7/22/2009
Author: Melissa Traynor and Tom Sawyer
Format: HTML

A case challenging the patentability of business methods will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court in December. The outcome may rock innovators and inventors in the construction industry. Bilski v. Doll is Bernard Bilski’s last appeal. Doll is John Doll, acting director of the U.S. patent office, which has rejected Bilski’s patent for a method to hedge risks in commodities trading. The case would normally be a far cry from construction, except the language of the most recent rejection, by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in October, added a new bar for any business-method patent application to pass: It must either be tied to a machine or transform one article into another to be eligible.

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