Monday 2 March 2009

Bilski for the Supreme Court?

IP Finance has previously noted the ripples which the US Bilski ruling has caused in the world of IP asset investment. That decision, which appears to limit greatly the scope of the State Street doctrine for patenting business method patents in the US, is now being lined up for a revisit by the Supreme Court. According to a note received from Annsley Merelle Ward:
"The lawyers acting on behalf of Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw of WeatherWise USA Inc. of Pittsburgh have submitted a petition to the Supreme Court to review the US Court of Appeals decision which rejected their computerized method for using weather data to predict prices of commodities and energy costs was not patentable. This may be the culmination of the growing unease in the ever-changing patentability environment in the States where the science, technology and bio-tech communities have been voicing disquiet about the ever increasing restriction on what is and what is not patentable. 
It is argued by some that the ‘process’ or physical transformation test is an artifice, especially when considering that the Supreme Court has not delivered a decision on the question of patentability since 1981 (The novelty and non-obviousness of a computer producing a process or physical change has undoubtedly progressed since the 80s). Though commentators in the states are having a field day engaging in the economic ratio for “why we patent”, if the case is accepted by the Supreme Court it would be the first time in twenty years that we will be hopefully given some clear information to “what we patent”".
For more background and information see this piece in the Chicago Tribune.

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