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Bilski v. Kappos

Docket No.: 08-964
Certiorari Granted: Jun 1 2009
Argued: November 9, 2009
Decided: June 28, 2010

Topics:

Patent Act, Article I, Sherman Act, antitrust, copyright, patent, property rights, stare decisis

PartyNames: Bernard L. Bilski and Rand A. Warsaw v. David J. Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, Patent and Trademark Office
Petitioner: Bernard L. Bilski and Rand A. Warsaw
Respondent: David J. Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, Patent and Trademark Office

Court Below: United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit
Citation: 545 F.3d 943
Supreme Court Docket

Bernard L. Bilski and Rand A. Warsaw
v.
David J. Kappos, Under Secretary of Commerce for Intellectual Property and Director, Patent and Trademark Office
Question Presented:

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." Whether the Federal Circuit's "machine-or-transformation" test for patent eligibility, which effectively forecloses meaningful patent protection to many business methods, contradicts the clear Congressional intent that patents protect "method[s] of doing or conducting business." 35 U.S.C. § 273.

Question:

1) Did the Federal Circuit err by using the machine-or-transformation test in determining patentable subject matter? 2) Does the machine-or-transformation test prevent patent protection for many business methods and thus contradict congressional intent that patents protect "methods of doing or conducting business."

Bilski v. Kappos
ORAL ARGUMENT

November 9, 2009

Holding: affirmed
Decision: Decision: 9 votes for Kappos, 0 vote(s) against
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