0370 270 6000

"business as usual" on US patentability

1 July 2010

Like England fans waiting for a World Cup tournament success, technology providers have been eagerly expecting Supreme Court guidance on the patentability of business methods and software inventions in the US. Unfortunately, they may be equally disappointed. Finally the decision of the appeal of Re Bilski has been delivered.

The Supreme Court has upheld the Federal Court’s view that an invention is patentable if it is “tied to a particular machine or apparatus” or if it “transforms a particular article into a different state or thing”, but has refused to confirm that this is the exclusive test.

It has however refused to endorse the earlier, far wider test requiring the invention merely to produce a “useful, concrete and tangible result”, which was set down in the State Street case, and which caused the patent applications to come flooding in. So at least the hi-tech world knows that there are some boundaries, but I suspect that is scant consolation.

Related opinions

Are whistleblowers entitled to keep their employer’s confidential documents?

In Nissan v Passi, the High Court recently considered the issue of an employee retaining confidential documents belonging to his former employer in the context of the employer’s application for an injunction seeking the return of such documents from the employee.

View blog

Important opportunity to comment on case law precedent

The UK government is considering extending this power to depart from retained EU case law to additional lower courts and tribunals, namely the Court of Appeal in England and Wales and the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and their equivalents.

View blog

Sky’s overly broad trade marks narrowed as found partially invalid for bad faith

Lord Justice Arnold has applied the guidance of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) to the evidence before him, in the long standing trade mark dispute between Sky and Skykick.

View blog

Cyber risks – are businesses really ready?

The Hiscox Cyber Readiness report, a review of 3300 organisations, will be a stark warning for CEO’s of SME’s in the UK and in Europe.

View blog

Mark Daniels

Mark Daniels

Partner and Head of Business Services

View profile

Mailing list sign up

Select which mailings you would like to receive from us.

Sign up