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The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a case regarding the validity of business method patents (H/T Wall Street Journal). Business method patents cover ways of doing business, and became a larger share of patents as electronic commerce and other computerized activities became widespread. An example of such a patent is Amazon’s 1-Click method for expediting online orders.
As the petition for a writ of certiorari reads, the issue in this case is:
Whether the Federal Circuit erred by holding that a “process” must be tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or transform a particular article into a different state or thing (“machine-or-transformation” test), to be eligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101, despite this Court’s precedent declining to limit the broad statutory grant of patent eligibility for “any” new and useful process beyond excluding patents for “laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas.”