Let's hear from all of you IP people out there on this issue. What do you all think are the pros and cons at stake here? Marlene
(AP)Previously appeared on Oct 30, 2008 Posted by Yahoo
WASHINGTON - A federal appeals court on Thursday ruled against a man trying to patent a business idea, a decision with far-ranging implications for the financial services and high-tech industries, which have major players on both sides of the issue.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled against Bernard Bilski, who wanted to patent a method for hedging against weather-related effects on businesses. Because his process did not involve a particular machine and did not physically transform anything, the court said, the process was not eligible for a patent.
Relying heavily on 1970s-era U.S. Supreme Court decisions that established the "machine-or-transformation test," Chief Judge Paul Michel wrote for a nine-judge majority that Bilski's patent application did not meet this definition of "process" under patent law. The court affirmed the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's denial of Bilski's patent, saying the agency's interpretation of the "process" was correct.