Saturday, November 28, 2009

Bilski and the origin of method claims

Eben Moglen writes on the Huffington Post:

Only in 1953, after the industrial transformation of the American economy was long since complete, did Congress amend the Patent Act to permit "process" as well as "product" patents. Within decades of the change, patent law was being used for purposes that Congress had plainly not envisioned in 1953.

IPBiz thanks "Patent Guide" for the link to Yes Justice Scalia, There Were Patents Relating To Training Horses in the 1890s; But More Importantly, We Need Them Today which includes

Perhaps more importantly, the law was in flux as to what type of method claims were available. For example it was not until 1909, in Expanded Metal Co. v. Bradford, 214 U.S. 366 (1909), that the Supreme Court made clear that patent eligible method claims did not merely need to have chemical transformations, but could also include mechanical transformations.

Indeed, when the 1952 Patent Act was adopted, the law was drafted to define patent-eligible methods broadly. See 35 U.S.C. ยง 100(b). Thus, perhaps Justice Scalia would find it interesting to note that since the Act was enacted, many patents have issued which claim methods of training animals (including horses): (...)

See also


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