Thursday, July 01, 2010

Supreme Court draws middle road on patent eligibility

On Monday June 28 the Supreme Court took a middle road in patent law, according to a Washington Post story by Peter Whoriskey on June 29 on p A7, “Supreme Court relaxes limits on patents; but it rejects a claim for a business method”, link here.

The Court rejected a patent on an algorithm for hedging risk in buying energy as too “abstract” but it also rejected a lower court’s claim that valid patents require machinery (like the Lionsgate trademark!) or “physical transformations”.

Electronic Frontier Foundation is criticial of a 1998 ruling from the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) in State Street Bank & Trust Co. v. Signature Financial Group and warned that the Court "knocked patent law loose from its historical moorings and injected patents into business areas where they were neither needed nor wanted", in a piece by Michael Barclay here.

This case (2010) is Bilski v. Kappos, link here.