Update: Business Method Patents

In both Canada and the US, the business method patent is, at the moment, on the run (see our previous post: Business Method Patents Under Review). Business method and software patents have been the subject of fierce debate in the intellectual property community. Last October, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in the Bilski decision that a process for managing risk in commodities markets did not deserve a patent, because it was not tied to a machine, did not result in a “physical transformation”, and therefore did not meet patentability requirements.   

In Canada, business method patents are not automatically unpatentable – they are assessed according to the usual patentability criteria and CIPO’s Manual of Patent Office Practices. But a recent ruling by the Canadian Patent Appeal Board has denied Amazon’s “one-click” patent, throwing doubt on the patentability of business methods in Canada. Essentially, the CPAB found that, as in the Bilski case, there was no “physical transformation” so the application did not meet Canadian patentability requirements. (For further discussion, see: Amazon’s One-Click Patent Application Gets Bilski’d.)

Now,  the US Supreme Court has decided to weigh in by agreeing to review the Bilski decision. The decision may finally determine whether business methods are patentable. 


Calgary – 9:45 MST

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