Silver Linings: Bilski Ruling Does Seem To Be Limiting Some Software Patents

from the marginal-improvement dept

Lots of folks were upset with how the Supreme Court ruled so narrowly in the Bilski case and how they refused to make a clear statement on the patentability of software. It did seem clear that some judges didn’t believe that software should be patentable, and we were just discussing how the Supreme Court might still invalidate software patents, if given a good case on the subject. In the meantime, though, as a small silver lining, it does appear that the Bilski ruling has resulted in at least some software patents tossed. a new study, covering the year since the Bilsky ruling, found that the Board of Patent Appeals appears to be more willing to reject software patent claims. On top of that, the district courts’ ruling on software patents also seem willing to take the Bilski lead and invalidate software patents (though, here, we’re talking about the ridiculously small sample size of four — though in all four cases, the patents were rejected). while, obviously, many would prefer a more bright line rejection of software patents, it’s at least good to see that the courts and the BPAI seem to be somewhat cognizant of the idea that the bar for such patents should be reasonably high.

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