US Supreme Court to review standard for patentablility of processes under In re Bilski

Today the U.S. Supreme Court granted a petition for certiorari in the appeal of In re Bilski, the 2008 Federal Circuit opinion which altered the standard for patentability of processes under U.S. patent law. 

In Bilski, the Federal Circuit rejected previous caselaw stating that a process could be patented merely because it produced a “useful, tangible and concrete result.”  Instead, the Court held that a patent-eligible process must satisfy the “machine or transformation” test, meaning that the process must be either (i) tied to a particular machine, or (ii) transform a particular article into a different state or thing.  Additional detail about the Federal Circuit’s Bilski opinion is available here.

In their petition, co-appellants Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw asked the Supreme Court to determine whether the Federal Circuit erred in holding that a process must be tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or else transform a particular article into a different state or thing, in order to be eligible for patenting.

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