Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Supreme Court to Review Scope of Patentable Subject Matter

The U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review the en banc decision of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in In re Bilski (545 F.3d 943). In that decision, the Federal Circuit rejected its previous “useful, concrete and tangible result” test for patentable subject matter articulated in State Street (149 F.3d 1368). Finding that test inadequate or inappropriate, the court articulated two tests for patentability that are commonly referred to as the “machine-or-transformation” test. Under the new test, a claimed process is patentable if “(1) it is tied to a particular machine or apparatus, or (2) it transforms a particular article into a different state or thing.”