Jun. 3rd, 2009

crankynick: (Default)
And most of you are almost certainly following elsewhere, but in case you haven't seen it this article on the US Supreme Court agreeing to hear the major ongoing dispute on patenting "business methods" is worth a read.

The court said it would consider a case involving a method for hedging risk in commodities trading. A claimed patent on this process, filed in 1997 by inventors Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw, was rejected by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office on the basis that it simply involved a mental process and did not need any technology to implement. That rejection has been upheld though various appeals.

It's a big 'un, with flow through effects possible in the patentability of software, clinical practice in medicine, and other areas.

A decision isn't expected until 2010, but it's probably worth following.

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