Wednesday, 03 June 2009 18:24

MORE ON BILSKI AND BUSINESS METHOD PATENTS

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As noted below, On October 30, 2009, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected a business-method patent on the basis of the machine-or-transformation test (opinion). The widely varying dissents of the en banc decision suggest much contradiction among the respective justices, from comments indicating that either the majority goes too far or not far enough in restricting the use of these patents. Meritorious arguments submitted by amicus also advocate a multitude of policy considerations. On June 1st, the Supreme Court grantedcertiorari to review the decision, perhaps in response to the extent of the important implications that this case entails.

Those seeking to expand business-method patents cite economics as a “useful art” and explain that these patents encourage innovation and produce tangible results. Conversely, opponents indicate that the patents curtail the free-flow of information and claim abstract ideas, both contrary to the goals of patent protection. Certainly, the Court will seek to balance the interests of both inventors and the public, which benefits from the increased societal knowledge that patents provide. But, as of now, the Court of Appeals’ decision seemingly puts the property rights of many business-method patent-holders in jeopardy with both the legal and business worlds taking note and this being heralded by some as "The most important patent case in 50 years" (link). 

Sebastian Ohanian Contributed to this Entry.

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Peter Matos

As a Registered Patent Attorney with a degree in Mechanical Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a law degree from the University of Miami, Mr. Matos is a Partner with the Firm, is Board Certified as an Expert in Intellectual Property Law, and concentrates his practice in the areas of Patent Prosecution, Litigation, Licensing, and Infringement Opinions. He has been rated as AV Preeminent by Martindale-Hubbell, also receiving a Judicial AV Preeminent Ranking, and presently serves as an adjunct professor in Intellectual Property Law at Florida International University, as well as the Vice Chair of the Miami Beach Convention Center Advisory Board. In addition to serving as an expert witness in the field of patent law, he has appeared on several national and local television programs discussing intellectual property, guest-lectured for business associations, law school and paralegal courses, and spoken at various professional conferences.  Mr. Matos is a published author in the field of Intellectual Property Law and is fluent in Spanish.