back to article US court narrows scope for business method patents

One of the US's highest courts has ruled that business methods cannot be patented unless they meet a test laid down by the Supreme Court. It has overruled a test set by a lower court and narrowed the scope of business method patents. Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw tried to patent their method of hedging risk in energy …


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  1. Anonymous Coward


    according to the Appeal Court, for a process to be patent-eligible it has to produce concrete!

    Cool. That should bugger-up the likes of Amazon for a while.

  2. Why
    Thumb Up

    *checks article again*

    finally some common sense comming through!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Kick start the economy get rid of patents

    Patents are being used for what they were intended which was to protect the small inventor as they took their product to market.

    Instead they are being used by big companies to bully others in the market, or to wave around to stop them being bullied by others. In the pharmaceutical industry it is even worse people are dying not because we lack the knowledge to save them but because patents are being used to ensure the price is too high. And they don't take into account people discovering something, just after another, patents really do cost lives.

    If they were gone, people would keep things secret but once to market others could compete, fair enough, they have a few months to recoup their costs. Innovation wouldn't stop, it would be improved, patents are a leech in any economical system.

  4. prathlev

    Software patents

    <quote>Mathematical formulae cannot be patented because they are said by the courts to be laws of nature and they therefore belong to everyone.</quote>

    Wouldn't this rule out all software patents? At least software designed to run on finite state machines? Those programs are just complex formulas (formulae?). Or does the presence of external input alter this assumption?

  5. Lou Gosselin

    Patent law should be abolished when it comes to software.

    "Mathematical formulae cannot be patented because they are said by the courts to be laws of nature and they therefore belong to everyone."

    And yet thousands of patents have been issued which do just that.

    Computer algorithms, as clever as they may be, are derived logically and mathematically, not "invented". Software patents prohibit software programmers from using mathematically derivable algorithms. Consequentially, companies both large and small are coerced into wasting resources developing less than ideal algorithms, just to avoid paying patent trolls.

  6. David Wilkinson


    I really hope the other side appeals ... and that the Supreme Court agrees to hear the case. Then they can have a chance to further clarify things.

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