The United States Supreme Court finally issued its decision on Bilski v. Kappos just before it shut down for the summer. As widely expected, the justices unanimously agreed that the Bilski claims are abstract ideas which are nonpatentable and the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit properly rejected the claims. However, the court’s decision, authored by Justice Anthony Kennedy, left many dissatisfied as it declined to clarify limitations on the patentability of business method claims. The high court simply rejected the Federal Circuit’s view that the machine-or-transformation test was the exclusive test for patentable process claims and instead, looked back to the last century, to its cases of Gottschalk v. Benson, (1972), Parker v. Flook, (1978) and Diamond v. Diehr, (1981) to find the “guideposts” and §100(b) the Patent Act for the definition of “process”.
Last month, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the closely followed case of Bilski v. Kappos, 08-964. The case concerns a patent application for hedging risk in commodities trading. Both the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected the claims.
Continue Reading Bilski v. Kappos, the end of the ‘Machine or Transformation Test’?