INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY LAW ALERT: Supreme Court Affirms Decision in Bilski v Kappos

    29 June 2010
    On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit’s decision that the underlying invention of In re Bilski was not patent eligible. The Supreme Court held that the machine-or-transformation test is only “a useful and important clue or investigative tool” for determining whether process claims are directed to statutory subject matter under Section 101 of the Patent Act, 35 U.S.C. §101 (Bilski v. Kappos, U.S., No. 08-964, 6/28/10). According to the Court, the machine-or-transformation test “is not the sole test for deciding whether an invention is a patent-eligible ‘process’ under §101.” Instead, “[t]he Court is unaware of any ordinary, contemporary, common meaning of ‘process’ that would require it to be tied to a machine or the transformation of an article.”