PATENTABILITY OF BUSINESS METHODS IN THE UNITED STATES

An en banc court panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit significantly narrowed the scope of patentability for business methods. In Re Bilski case, No. 2007-1130, slip op. (Fed. Cir. Oct. 30, 2008), the court held that any process, including a business method, is patentable only if it is tied to a machine or apparatus or if it transforms a particular item into a different state or thing.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What is considered to be a “business method”?
What are the implications of the Federal Circuit Court’s decision in In Re Bilski?
What are the questions raised by the Bilski decision?

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