About This Blog
Automating Invention is Robert Plotkin's blog on the impact of computer-automated inventing on the future of invention and patent law.
- Artificial Invention
- Design & Engineering
- Evolutionary Computation
- Genie in the Machine
- History of Computing
- Human Creativity
- Intellectual Property Law
- Philosophy of Computing
- Software Patents
- Technology Industry
- Videos of Talk on Invention Automation Available
- Twitter on the Brain
- The Pursuit of Thinking Machines
- Easing the Patent Processing Bottleneck
- Automating the Work of Scientists
- Simulating Auto Assembly
- Robert Plotkin Interview in MIT Technology Review
- Nerd Culture Lives On
- Web Cubed: Everything will be Connected
- Combating Common Diseases with Large-Scale Sequencing Technology
- Leaders of the Digital Revolution Discuss the Future of Technology
- Meet Adam, the Robotic Junior Lab Assistant
January 21, 2009
U.S. Ruling on Business Method Patents
In October, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) ruled that business methods which are not tied to a specific machine or which do not perform a physical transformation cannot be patented. The case was closely watched and has been heralded by some as the death knell for software patents.
Those who interpret Bilski
to render software unpatentable must have read a different opinion than
I did. Does the following sound like a court that has decided that
software is not patentable?
- "[A]lthough invited to do so by several amici, we decline to adopt a broad exclusion over software or any other such category of subject matter beyond the exclusion of claims drawn to fundamental principles set forth by the Supreme Court."
process claim at issue in this appeal is not, in any event, a software
claim. Thus, the facts here would be largely unhelpful in illuminating
the distinctions between those software claims that are patent-eligible
and those that are not."
There is substantial precedent from both the CAFC and the U.S. Supreme Court which is consistent with the conclusion that a wide variety of software patent claims satisfy this "machine or transformation" test. That is not to say that all software patent claims qualify as patentable subject matter or that the Bilski opinion will not be interpreted within the CAFC, in the district courts, or within the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to modify the standard of patentability for software. Such changes, however, will likely be subtle and play out over time in a wide variety of cases, despite what recent press reports to the contrary would lead you to believe.
Posted by BlogAuthor1 at January 21, 2009 7:06 PM
category: Software Patents
Post a comment
Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)