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Particular machine or transformation

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For application of this test by the courts, see Patentability in the USA after Bilski.

The particular machine or transformation test is an "important clue" as to the patentability of an idea. It was defined as "the" test by the CAFC in the 2008 in re Bilski case, but this was reversed by the Supreme Court in their 2010 Bilski v. Kappos ruling, which said:

This Court’s precedents establish that the machine-or-transformation test is a useful and important clue, an investigative tool, for determining whether some claimed inventions are processes under §101. The machine-or-transformation test is not the sole test for deciding whether an invention is a patent-eligible “process.”
(Bilski v. Kappos, section II-B-1)

Contents

Definition of the test

The test was defined as:

A claimed process is surely patent-eligible under § 101 if: (1) it is tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or (2) it transforms a particular article into a different state or thing. See Benson, 409 U.S. at 70 ("Transformation and reduction of an article 'to a different state or thing' is the clue to the patentability of a process claim that does not include particular machines. Diehr, 450 U.S. at 192 (quoted in the CAFC's Bilski ruling)

Processes and machines

Legislation in the USA allows the USPTO to grant patents for "any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof".[1]

The particular-machine-or-transformation test only applies to "processes". Thus, it seems that if a programmed computer was claimed as a "machine", it wouldn't have to pass the particular-machine-or-transformation test. This issue was discussed, and there was either confusion or disagreement about it at the Supreme Court's hearing of Bilski v. Kappos in 2009. (hearing transcript)

Related pages on en.swpat.org

External links

Court rulings based on the test

References

  1. http://www.law.cornell.edu/patent/35uscs101.html


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