Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Bilski: an end to patent trolls?

In "US court blocks Amazon-style patent trolls", The Register reports on Re Bilski and Warsaw, a controversial decision (full text here) in which the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit upheld an earlier decision by the US Patent Office to reject a patent application for a method of hedging risks in commodities trading. The 9-3 decision rejects the court's own earlier State Street Bank ruling of what can be patented. Instead, it favours earlier Supreme Court guideline that maintains a stricter, two-pronged standard. IP auctioneers Ocean Tomo have sought to assuage fears that business method patents are no longer valid in the US, but The Register's view is one that is widely held in commercial rather than technical legal circles.

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