IP auction company Ocean Tomo has sent a circular to interested parties, to calm their nerves over the US Federal Court's recent en banc decision in re Bilski (noted here on Patently-O). According to Ocean Tomo this decision
There may be an element of wishful thinking or self-interest here but, to me at least, OT's position seems about right. Any comments?
"... is unlikely to substantially change the scope of subject matter eligible for so-called business method patents or to alter the value of business method portfolios. The Court, relying on ... Supreme Court precedent, articulated a “machine or transformation test” for patentability. Under this test “an applicant may show that a process claim satisfies §101 either by showing that his claim is tied to a particular machine, or by showing that his claim transforms an article.” However, because the claim at issue in Bilski was admitted to be “not limited to operation on a computer,” or to carrying out the process by “any specific machine or apparatus,” the Court expressly declined to consider the contours of the machine implementation alternative. “[I]ssues specific to the machine implementation part of the test are not before us today. We leave to future cases the elaboration of the precise contours of machine implementation, as well as the answers to particular questions, such as whether or when recitation of a computer suffices to tie a process claim to a particular machine.” (Emphasis added).
The ... “transformation” test is broad. For example, ... a claim direct to the “transformation” of the depiction of a physical object on a visual display meets that test. ... the Court overruled the “useful, concrete and tangible result” test established in State Street, holding that it was “insufficient to determine whether a claim is patentable subject matter under §101.” But while this test is no longer the law, the new test will likely not alter the ultimate answer to the question as applied to particular business methods.
“Business method patents” commonly claim implementation by computer. Accordingly, the Court’s refusal to consider “whether or when recitation of a computer” is sufficient to render a process claim patentable means that the practical impact of Bilski should be limited. Absent development of further case law which squarely addresses this point, Bilski does not appear to materially change the business method patent landscape, or alter valuations of these patents".