Anybody interested in patents, and the patentability of inventions in different sectors of commerce, would have to have been living under a rock for the past few years not to be aware of In Re Bilski. We have been waiting since last November for the US Supreme Court to issue its decision in this case. It is widely anticipated that the Court will find Biski's claims (which relate to a "pure" business method, requiring no use of a computer or other technology) to be unpatentable, upholding the adverse decisions already issued by the USPTO and the Federal Circuit. However, interest in the case is focused on the likelihood that the Supreme Court took on the Bilski case in order to clarify the "rules" distinguishing the types of invention that are legitimate subjects of patent protection from those that are not.
The decision is expected to impact upon the patentability of inventions in various fields of technology, including computer software, e-commerce, financial services, and methods of medical treatment, testing and diagnosis.
Last Thursday, the Supreme Court indicated that the final outstanding decisions of the current term would be handed down on Monday, 28 June 2010. Since Bilski is one of only four cases heard during the term in which a decision is yet to issue, we expect that by this tomorrow morning (29 June, Australian time) we will know the outcome.
Despite our great interest in the case, Patentology will not be joining the countless numbers of blogs, newsletters, media outlets and legal firms that will doubtless be analysing and commenting on Bilski over the coming days and weeks. There are others better-placed to do so. We will, however, let you know about any other articles or commentaries on the case that we come across, and that we find to be useful and informative.
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