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The truth about business method patents (Magazine)
Business method patents are still alive and well in the United States. However, the Federal Circuit’s landmark Bilski decision is a reminder that they must meet the “machine-or-transformation” test, like any other process claim.
A major decision from the US Supreme Court questions the scope of what can be considered as patentable subject matter. It could have major implications in the life sciences industries and beyond
United StatesBusiness methods patents survive for now (Market intelligence)
On June 28 2010 the Supreme Court issued its longawaited Bilski v Kappos opinion on the patentability of business methods. In a broad, rambling opinion, the court seemed able to agree only that the Bilski claims at issue for hedging by commodities buyers and sellers against the risk of price changes in the energy market were unpatentable subject matter. It did so narrowly by finding that the claims were attempts to patent abstract ideas and not by using the ‘machine or transformation’ test espoused by the Federal Circuit in the same case in 2009. Notably, the court seemed in unanimous agreement that the machine or transformation test is not the sole test for patent eligibility under Section 101; in fact, the majority expressly stated that a process need not be tied to a machine or transformation. Along the way, the court permitted business methods in general to survive but it was a close call.
The impact of Mayo v Prometheus (Market intelligence)
On March 20 2012 the US Supreme Court issued a surprisingly unanimous decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v Prometheus Laboratories, Inc, holding that method claims that involved administering a drug to a patient and determining the therapeutic effects were not patentable subject matter.
Gene patents survive in the United States for now (Market intelligence)
The mid-Summer 2011 ruling by the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Association for Molecular Pathology v United States Patent and Trademark Office (commonly referred to as ‘Myriad’) has helped to calm some of the ripples in the biotech industry created by the district court’s ruling the previous year. In a split decision (two to one), the appellate court panel determined that isolated genes were not “products of nature” and thus could be patented. However, the majority of the method claims directed to ways to use genes were rejected.
United StatesGene patents under attack (Market intelligence)
Recently patent owners and applicants have run into stormy waters in the United States. KSR v Teleflex lowered the bar on finding obviousness, leading to a significant number of patents being invalidated and applications rejected on this ground. Business method patents were curtailed in 2009 by the new ‘machine-or-transformation’ test announced in In re Bilski and face additional uncertainty over the next year while the patent community waits to see how the Supreme Court rules on the appeal.
The unsettled state of business method patents (Market intelligence)
The United States has long been considered one of the most accommodating countries for business and computer-implemented method and system patents. However, while it appears settled that such processes are valid subject matter, there is growing confusion over the precise scope of what can be patented and, perhaps more importantly, how claims should be drafted to match that scope.
Bilski’s impact on medical method patents (Magazine)
The Bilski court held that abstract ideas cannot be patented, but recent months have provided clear indications that medical treatments and methods are patentable. However, patent applicants and practitioners should not allow this to distract them from the other requirements for patenting; all claims must still pass the novelty, obviousness and disclosure requirements
A busy patent year in the United States (Magazine)
Three leading attorneys look at developments in the US patent landscape during 2010
Impact of the America Invents Act on patent valuation (Market intelligence)
The newly enacted America Invents Act has comprehensively overhauled the patent system, with several key changes likely to impact on the patent monetisation process
The move to international exhaustion in the United States (Market intelligence)
In its final decision in a trilogy of cases, the US Supreme Court has resolved the issue of international versus domestic exhaustion for copyrighted works
Business method patents under fire in the United States (Market intelligence)
Are computer-implemented patents going extinct? (Market intelligence)
The doctrine of patent exhaustion gets fresh legs (Market intelligence)
In its recent Quanta decision the US Supreme Court signalled its intent to continue focusing on the inventive aspects of a patented invention and limit a patent’s enforceable scope. But while the decision provides some clarification, it has not eliminated all potential problems.
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