US court puts limits back on whats patententalbe - Woo!

Groklaw writes that its time to pop the Champagne over the recent US court decision, re Bilski.
The decision states: "Applicants' claims are not directed to patent-eligible subject matter, and in doing so, we clarify the standards applicable in determining whether a claimed method constitutes a statutory "process" under § 101."

This means death to most business method patents or at least to the State Street interpretation that has created a huge patent bubble for some years.

WSJ makes a reference to the case that set off software and business method patents "State Street":
"This is a pretty clear disavowal of State Street," said Daniel Crowe, a patent litigator at Bryan Cave LLP in St. Louis who was not involved in the case. "It's a ruling against the financial services industry." Mr. Crowe said he did not know what would happen to the business-method patents validated within the last 10 years. "That's definitely an open question."

In another WSJ article Randy Lipsitz, a patents specialist at Kramer Levin says:
“You’re going to see fewer applications from these industries,”

IBM seems pleased in a Business Week article:
Kappos said IBM was “very pleased” with the court’s decision. “It doesn’t spell the complete demise of business-method patents,” he says, “But without question it points to a major downsizing.”

I think this report at VentureBeat makes it very clear what just happend:

"The ruling clarified what types of patents the court found eligible: “(1) it is tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or (2) it transforms a particular article into a different state or thing.” Ten years ago, the same court had ruled that a “useful, concrete, and tangible result” also signified that a concept could be patented. The result, as researchers later showed, was a 3000 percent increase in the number of business method patents between 1995 and 2001."

I will read in more on what happened, drink some Champagne and return with my thoughts about this decision, effects on Europe and the ongoing struggle here.


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