Posted in: Bilski, Gene Quinn, IP News, IPWatchdog.com Articles, Patent Fools™, Software, Software Patent Basics, Technology & Innovation
On October 30, 2008, the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its much anticipated decision in In re Bilski. The question that was presented by this case was whether a purely mental process is patentable subject matter. The Federal Circuit, however, took it upon themselves to call into question whether software patents are patentable subject matter. We had been expecting a far reaching decision that dealt a blow to business method patents, but few would have predicted just how far reaching the decision would be and that it would call into question thousands of software patents granted over the last 10 to 15 years. Ever since this decision was rendered there has been rampant speculation as to what Bilski means and how it will be interpreted. As one who works in this area and one with my own patent application pending in class 705, I was greatly interested both professionally and personally. Thankfully, I can report that it does not seem as if Bilski is turning out to be the impediment to patentability that many feared. In fact, based on what is going on at the USPTO one could make a convincing argument that it is actually getting easier to obtain patents that related to software and computer related processes. This is good news indeed.