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The post-Bilski era begins

December 19, 2008 3 Comments

The In re Bilski (545 F.3d 943 [Fed. Cir. 2008]; here’s a PDF of the decision) court decision placed significant new limits on so-called “process” or “business method” patents, which possible implications for many software patents.

Well, I just received an e-mail from Joel Miller of the ABA Intellectual Property Law Committee (of which I’m a member) that include two decisions:  a US District Court decision (Classen v. Biogen et al.) invalidating several patented methods for “evaluating and improving the safety of immunization schedules”, and a US Federal Court of Appeals ruling upholding that decision based on In re Bilski. Here’s the entire text of the latter’s decision:

In light of our decision in In re Bilski, 545 F.3d 943 (Fed. Cir. 2008) (en banc), we affirm the district court’s grant of summary judgment that these claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Dr. Classen’s claims are neither “tied to a particular machine or apparatus” nor do they “transform[] a particular article into a different state or thing.” Bilski, 545 F.3d at 954. Therefore we affirm.

Here are the patents that were held to be invalid (with links):

Interesting times ahead.  ..bruce..

About the Author:

Webster is Principal and Founder at at Bruce F. Webster & Associates, as well as an Adjunct Professor for the BYU Computer Science Department. He works with organizations to help them with troubled or failed information technology (IT) projects. He has also worked in several dozen legal cases as a consultant and as a testifying expert, both in the United States and Japan. He can be reached at 303.502.4141 or at

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