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Posts in US Supreme Court

Another Day Without Bilski Decision, What Does it Mean?

Today the United States Supreme Court issued four decisions, and none of them were Bilski v. Kappos. If you look back at the lag time between oral argument and decision over the last 17 Supreme Court patent decisions the average is 2.82 months. KSR was 5.07 months and as of today Bilski is 6.29 months. Does this mean Bilski will be more earth shattering than KSR, which is the biggest patent decision of at least the last generation?

When Will the Supreme Court Decide Bilski?

Months ago I predicted that the Supreme Court would issue the decision on the day that is least convenient for me. That is what always seems to be the case with big news items. They seem to happen when I am away from my computer and attending to other matters, traveling or teaching. Based on the belief that the decision will issue on either April 19, 20, 21, 26, 27 or 28, my prediction is April 21, 2010. That would be the most awful day for me because of my calendar of events on April 21 and 22. So if you are going to start up an office pool on when Bilski will issue I would beg, borrow and plead for April 21.

How to Effectively But Safely Tell the Story of the Invention

I’m sure some patent litigators will blanch at what I’m suggesting about telling the “story” behind the invention in a patent application because of all the supposed “admissions” that will be made. But most patent litigators haven’t had to endure the frustration we patent prosecutors experience when try to get a “silk purse patent” based on a “sow’s ear description” because there’s no “story” told in the patent application about why the invention is patentable. Also, drafting a “litigation-proof” patent application (if one exists) is meaningless if you can’t get that patent application allowed because the “story” told doesn’t sell the patentability of the invention.

Deciding Bilski on Patentable Subject Matter is Just Plain Wrong

Unfortunately, those who oppose software patents frequently, if not always, want to turn the patentability requirements as they apply to software and business methods into a single step inquiry. They want it all to ride on patentable subject matter, which is a horrible mistake. The majority of the Federal Circuit got it completely wrong in Bilski, and other notable recent decisions. Patentable subject matter is a threshold inquiry and should not be used to weed out an entire class of innovation simply because bad patents could and will issue if the other patentability requirements are not adequately applied. That is taking the “easy” way out and is simply wrong.

Bilski Tea Leaves: Remembering the Lab Corp. Non-decision

It has been just over two months since the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Bilski v. Kappos, and we likely have at least several more months to wait for a ruling. Notwithstanding, pundits and commentators are certainly trying to figure out what the Supreme Court will do, engaging in thought exercises and gazing into crystal balls. The crystal ball…

Supreme Court Won’t Review CAFC Ruling that 35 USC § 271(f) Doesn’t Apply to Patented Processes

You may recall that I wrote back in September of last year on the case of Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. v. St. Jude Medical, Inc. See CAFC Says “Patented Invention” Does Not Include Methods .  In Cardiac Pacemakers, all but one member of the en banc Federal Circuit ruled that 35 U.S.C. § 271(f) doesn’t apply to patented processes.  Judge Newman…

Praying the Supremes Get Bilski Right in 2010

It is not at all an overstatement to say the fate of future innovation in the US rests squarely on the Supreme Court getting the Bilski ruling correct. Long ago the manufacturing jobs started leaving and they are gone and not coming back. To the extent that the US has anything other than a service economy it is thanks to intellectual property and intangible assets, and everyone who seriously considers the matter knows that the chief intangible asset for businesses is software.

Top 10 Patent Stories of the Decade 2000-2009 (Part 2)

On December 21, 2009, I embarked upon identifying the top 10 patent stories of the decade, which ends as we usher in the new year.  The Top 10 Part 1 identified what I thought were in the bottom half of the top 10, and while any top 10 list is sure to be at least somewhat controversial, it seems as…

Supreme Court Refuses Harjo, Redskins Can Keep Trademark

The United States Supreme Court earlier today announced that they will not accept the appeal in the Harjo case, which means that the decision of the the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia will stand as the final decision in the long dispute that sought to strip the team of its trademark as a result of the term “Redskin” being offensive and not susceptible of receiving trademark protection.

The Bilski Oral Argument Speaks Volume: Start with 35 U.S.C. § 112

After Monday’s oral argument, many are trying to divine how the U.S. Supreme Court will rule in the Bilski v. Kappos, and whether the Federal Circuit’s “machine or transformation” test will survive. Having now read the oral argument transcript, my own prognostication is that the Federal Circuit’s “machine or transformation” test will be trounced as too inflexible, although the Supreme…

Exploring Justice Steven’s Patent Past for Clues

Normally trying to figure out what a court will do is a waste of time, particularly so when that court is the Supreme Court, which is not bound by precedent of any kind given that they are the court of last resort. Having said that, the Bilski Federal Circuit decision is of such importance and inventors and clients cannot simply stand still waiting for a decision, holding themselves up until things become clear. In trying to piece together what might happen I think we should dissect some of the patent writings of the Justices, so without further ado lets begin with Justice John Paul Stevens.

A Bird’s Eye View of the Bilski Oral Argument

Unlike Gene I did not really plan very well. I did not have credentials and am not (yet) a member of the Court. So, I was in line with the public. A patent centric public, but the public none-the-less. My fellow line standers included: Law students headed to taking the patent bar; a Finnegan partner (made me feel a little…

Bilski Arguments Complete at the US Supreme Court

At 2pm ET on November 9, 2009, Chief Justice John Roberts gaveled the session to a close announcing that the case had now been submitted. The arguments were good, and the Court was most assuredly hot, peppering both sides with question after question seeking to probe the issues. It is clear that the Supreme Court did their homework and spent no time gravitating to the weak points of the parties.

Bilski: Eyewitness Report and Expert Analysis

On Monday, November 9, 2009, the United States Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the much anticipated Bilski case, which could well decide once and for all whether business methods and software remain patentable in the United States. I will be in attendance at the oral argument, which will take place after a lunch recess.

History of Software Patents III: In re Alappat

Several years after Arrhythmia, the Federal Circuit seemingly abandoned the Freeman-Walter-Abele test. Sitting en banc in Alappat the Federal Circuit did not apply the Freeman- Walter-Abele test, rather opting for the mathematical subject matter exception.