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U.S. Supreme Court Ruling: Bilski v. Kappos

On June 28, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on the Bilski vs. Kappos case. The Court affirmed the Federal Circuit court's decision, stating that Mr. Bilski's product, a mathematical formula used to calculate risk in hedge funds, is not patentable because it is based on an abstract idea. The Court did however determine that a business method can, under certain circumstances, be eligible for patent under Section 101.

In April of 1997, Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw submitted a patent application for a method that would provide a fixed bill energy contract for consumers. The contract would allow consumers to pay the same monthly price regardless of energy usage. The patent application was rejected, and the rejection was affirmed by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences. The Federal Circuit upheld the rejection, 9-3, in October of 2008. We will offer more analysis and interpretation in the coming weeks. Please contact us if you have any questions.

To learn more about Daniel L. Boots and his practice, please visit his profile.

  • Partner

    Dan is a senior partner of the Intellectual Property and Technology (IP&T) group (former chair 1997-2009), concentrating his practice on counseling emerging and established businesses in all areas of intellectual property and ...



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