“The Implications of In re Bilski on the Field of Biotechnology”

19 01 2010

“The Implications of In re Bilski on the Field of Biotechnology”

Kristen M. Hoover

Patent Engineer

Moxon & Spriegel, LLC


Patent and Trademark Attorneys

August 27, 2009


The field of biotechnology is constantly changing and ever growing.  In any field where new innovations are constantly being developed, securing a patent is an essential step for any company or inventor in protecting their advancements.  Biotechnology is a field where only the surface has been scratched and the possibility of future innovations is limitless.  No one can know with any certainty exactly what will be developed or in what direction the field will go.  In the past, the door to patentability has been wide open, allowing and indeed promoting research and development in a multitude of areas of biotechnology.

The recent In re Bilski case, which has been granted review by the Supreme Court, some believe, has limited the scope of what is patentable, especially in the field of biotechnology.  The Federal Circuit, acting en banc, held that the “machine-or-transformation” test is the sole test of subject matter eligibility for a claimed process.  Many cases help shape and determine the idea of what is patentable subject matter, but the Bilski case and all its surrounding discussion seem to have the entire field of biotechnology on the edge of their seats wondering if the effects of the decision will stifle the field altogether.


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