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Bilski Decision – As Text (Updated)

Posted in Courtroom, Patents at 10:19 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Summary: The Bilski decision is finally out and now available as plain text too

THE decision is out as PDF [PDF] and as text (we have just converted it). Read it along with us and comment below with the findings. We’ll cover interpretations over the coming days. The ruling says: “As numerous amicus briefs argue, the machine-or-transformation test would create uncertainty as to the patentability of software, advanced diagnostic medicine techniques, and inventions based on linear programming, data compression, and the manipulation of digital signals.”

Update: Early reactions include:

[16:03] [Notice] -BNi to #boycottnovell- [satipera/@satipera] Bilski looses !fs !free !linux !foss !floss !techrights #swpats
[16:04] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [fosspatents] #Bilski ruling suggests very broad scope of patentability, awaiting more news but so far disappointing to me ( I follow @scotusblog )
[16:05] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [glynmoody] RT @genomicslawyer Bilski affirmed. Opinion available here: http://bit.ly/aU9JLz >>everyone get reading #bilski #swpats
[16:06] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [jwildeboer] RT @fontana #Bilski decision http://is.gd/d7JT3 #SCOTUS
[16:06] Title: Not a web page! Aborting application/pdf type .::. Size~: 0 KB
[16:08] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [jwildeboer] with #bilski in, we can now check if everything under the sun is patentable.
[16:08] [Notice] -BNi to #boycottnovell- [satipera/@satipera] “machine or transformation test” is NOT the sole test for eligibility to obtain a patent. !fs !free !floss !foss !linux !techrights #swpats
[16:27] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [glynmoody] “I find it hard to believe that many of our entrepreneurs forwent business innovation because they could not claim a patent” – Bilski p. 41
[16:31] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [glynmoody] “the patent laws are not intended to “creat[e] a class of speculative schemers” oh really? – Bilski p.46
[16:32] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [schestowitz] “The machine-or-transformation test would create uncertainty as to the patentability of software” -SCOTUS http://ur1.ca/0emgk #swpats
[16:33] [Notice] -BNi to #boycottnovell- [schestowitz/@schestowitz] The #Bilski decision is finally out, as plain text http://ur1.ca/0emgk #swpats #patents #bilski !techrights supporters, please share
[16:36] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [glynmoody] “costs of business method patents not only may stifle innovation, but they are also likely to stifle competition” true of swpats Bilski p.46
[16:41] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [schestowitz] “State Street [...] piece of s/w could be patented and addressed only claims directed at machines” -SCOTUS http://ur1.ca/0emgk #swpats
[16:43] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [glynmoody] Judge Stevens writes strongest analysis: “I concur in the judgment, I strongly disagree with the Court’s disposition of this case” Bilski
[16:43] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [ruiseabra] Neither pork nor sausage in #Bilski decision? Is that what should be expected from a ‘supreme’ court?
[16:48] [Notice] -BNi to #boycottnovell- [ml2mst/@ml2mst] ♺ @schestowitz: The #Bilski decision is finally out, as plain text http://ur1.ca/0emgk #swpats #patents #bilski !techrights
[16:50] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [zoobab] Bilski is out: http://ur1.ca/0em2c
[16:54] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [zoobab] It appears that Stevens does think that business method patents are a problem, but couldn’t convince other SCOTUS judges http://ur1.ca/0emnv
[17:04] [Notice] -BNtwitter to #boycottnovell- [fosspatents] #Bilski decision doesn’t invalidate even one software #patent http://bit.ly/9E0Mg6 gave #swpat abolition the widest berth possible

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  1. Jose_X said,

    June 28, 2010 at 4:35 pm


    groklaw and techdirt have coverage as well.

    Best I can say is that the wheels of justice grind very slowly and we are still far away from a true victory, but (as PJ concluded) today it seems we took another small step in that direction.

    [She wrote a nice (long) piece on Susan B Anthony's trial a few weeks back. It's about how eventually justice will be served and we should be patient. It's worth a read.]

    The Court reaffirmed that software is abstract and you can’t simply tie a machine to software to claim a patent. Also, they recognize that in the modern era of information, patents can lead to problems in some areas in stifling individuals, especially amid independent inventions.

    This last part is very important. As stated on this site numerous times, we should avoid purposely implementing software that is known to be patented by hostile entities (eg, dotnet API) since the SCOTUS might rule one day that numerous software patents might be infringed if the infringer was copying the invention directly but not otherwise (ie, create a criteria for safe harbor based on “independence”).

    Bilski itself got annihilated, so that sends a strong message to patents that try to pull off the trick Bilski did. It’s not enough to call your patent a “process”.

    Also, the Court made it a point to say they were not endorsing State Street (as Microsoft had wanted):

    >> And nothing in today’s opinion should be read as endorsing interpretations of §101 that the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has used in the past. See, e.g., State Street, 149 F. 3d, at 1373; AT&T Corp., 172 F. 3d, at 1357.

    Dr. Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Thanks for the encouraging roundup. I’m still drowning in Bilski articles. I’ll try to post a summary before I fall asleep.

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