Supreme Court: “business method” and software patents OK

28 06 2010

This morning, the Supreme Court decided the long-running Bilski case (PDF) on business method patents—a case with broad applicability to software patents. As expected, the Court struck down the Bilski patent itself as an unpatentable “abstract idea”—but it also said that business method and software patents can be legitimate.

The case began when one Bernard Bilski tried to patent “a method for managing the consumption risk costs of a commodity sold by a commodity provider.” The application included some broad statistical algorithms for hedging risk, but then asserted broad ownership over the way that these principles could be implemented by others.

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