Tag Archives: Bilski

The Bilski case in the USA

ESP responds to USPTO consultation

The below letter is ESP’s submission to the USPTO 2010 post-Bilski consultation. The best part of the Bilski decision was that it left the door open for excluding software from the patent system in a future ruling. Instructions about what has to change today are a little more subtle, but we’ve formalised three here which we hope the USPTO will take into account.

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Bilski’s patent application – the published parts

Some people have asked where they can read the patent which was the object of Bilski v. Kappos. The answer is that it’s a patent application and as such it’s confidential. However, the key excerpts did get published via the opinions of the various courts which rejected it. Keep in mind that the application may have been modified since its filing in 2006, and the authors have expressed their intention to modify it and try again to get it granted. With that said, below is the text we know of.
[UPDATE: We have almost the full text, thanks to contributor Gibus]

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Late-comers guide: What is Bilski anyway?

Everyone expects the US Supreme Court to publish their decision on the "Bilski" case today (June 28th 2010). The court has to decide on the validity of a patent on a business method, but that’s not the main issue. Everyone expects that patent to be rejected, but the main issue is that to reject a patent the court must give a general test and explain why this patent fails that test. We want to know if they’ll propose a test which will also be failed by some or all software patents.

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No Bilski; last possible date: Monday 28th

No Bilski today. The only date left on the calendar for announcing decisions is Monday June 28th. The court confirmed today that Monday will be the last day for announcing decisions, so either we get Bilski then, or there’s a very remote possibility that they will hold Bilski until the new term after the Summer. Background on this case can be found at en.swpat.org/wiki/Bilski v. Kappos.

Yet again, no Bilski

June 14th‘s opinions have been published, and Bilski’s not there. The SCOTUSblog folk at the court also confirm there’s no Bilski decision. The court has announced that they will additionally publish opinions this Thursday. The possibility of delaying the decision until the next term is very unlikely as Chief Justice Roberts said at a conference last week that Bilski will “almost certainly be issued on one of the next three Mondays – June 14, 21, or 28.” Since June 14th is now passed, and the 17th has been added, that makes three possible days for announcing Bilski: June 17th, 21st and 28th.

Again, no Bilski

The Supreme Court handed down a lot of decisions today, but not Bilski. The remaining possible days are all in June: 1st, 7th, 14th, 21st, 28th. The Supreme Court term runs from October to June. Bilski’s hearing was November 9th, which is pretty early, and now the decision is coming in the last month. They must be working hard on this one.

Patent Absurdity – or Bilski, the movie

FSF has just published a film by independent film make Luca Lucarini:

Against the backdrop of of the current Bilski case in the US Supreme Court, the film features a series of interviews explaining the absurdity of software patents and how we got into this mess. Luca and some of the cast from the film kindly agreed to answer here some of the questions you might have about the film. So fire away!

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Bilski: the next steps

There are two phases left. There’s a phase of maybe four or five months until the ruling, and there’s a longer post-ruling phase where we may get legislative proposals or a second Supreme Court case. This is the first time in 28 years where the USA could rid itself of software development’s biggest problem, so let’s look at what we have to do over the coming months.
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Bilski’s hearing and software patents

At Monday’s hearing (court transcript), neither party had the objective of abolishing software patents. The Bilski case is about a business method patent, so there was Mr. Jakes arguing that business methods should be patentable, and Mr. Stewart arguing that they shouldn’t. For software to be excluded, we’re relying on the judges (to whom we wrote an amicus brief, as did many others). There’re a few worrying statements, but there’s also a lot of hope.

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Bilski hearing initial reports

Reports are starting to appear from today’s hearing of the Bilski case at the US Supreme Court. I’ll keep updating as they appear.

The court transcript is now online: 08-964.pdf (and we have a text version).