Supreme Court To Review In Re Bilski Business Method Patent Holding

Yesterday, the Supreme Court agreed to hear the In Re Bilski case (now renamed Bilski v. Doll), which is on appeal from the Federal Circuit. The Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences (BPAI) previously denied a business method patent for hedging in commodities trading. The Federal Circuit – largely overturning the 1998 State Street Bank case, which allowed business method patents – affirmed the BPAI ruling that the applicants’ invention did not meet the “machine-or-transformation” test. The Supreme Court’s agreement to hear the appeal is a rarity in patent law, leaving patent attorneys to ruminate whether the Supremes will curtail or expand the scope of business method patents. Bilski’s Petition for Certiorari can be viewed here and the Government’s Opposition to Certiorari can be viewed here.