by S. Laura Chung
After waiting until the very end of the 2009 judicial term, the United States Supreme Court finally issued the long-awaited opinion in Bilski v. Kappos on June 28, 2010. In this opinion, the Supreme Court exercised unusual precaution by avoiding formulating a new test for determining the subject matter eligibility of patent claims, while still providing software and business method innovators across the country with some assurance for the validity of their patents. The Court stated that certain business methods may be directed to patent eligible subject matter like any other process claims; however, for this particular case, Mr. Bilski’s claims were not directed to patent eligible subject matter as they were directed to an abstract idea.
Since the issuance of the Federal Circuit opinion in the case of In re Bilski on October 30, 2008, which ruled that a process must be tied to either a particular machine or transform a particular article into a different state or thing to be patent eligible under 35 U.S.C, §101 (a.k.a. “machine-or-transformation test”), software patent applicants have been receiving rejections from patent examiners that stated that a software that runs on a general computer, whether implementing a business method or other application, is per se not directed to a patent eligible subject matter.–click here to read more—