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Bilski overview

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"Bilski" an ongoing set of series of court cases that will change the patentability of software in the USA. The Bilski patent itself is a business method patent, not a software patent, but the court ruling will affect the patentability of software either directly or because it will replace previous rulings which affect the patentability of software.

Contents

Origins

The USPTO rejected Bilski's patent. Bilski appealed to the USPTO's Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, but was rejected again. Bilski took the USPTO to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), again demanding that his patent be granted. Again rejected (in re Bilski, 2008). So Bilski asked the US Supreme Court to review the CAFC's decision. They agreed to hear the case (Bilski v. Kappos, 2010) but also rejected the patent.

Why is it important?

The 2008 ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) was broad enough to reject Bilski's patent and a certain category of software patents.

The Supreme Court agreed to review the CAFC's ruling (as Bilski v. Kappos), and the judges raised the issue of software during the hearing.

The Supreme Court's ruling could greatly change the patentability of software patents, business method patents, and the middle ground of e-commerce patents.

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