In re Bilski: Federal Circuit Narrows Patentability of Business Methods
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The Federal Circuit this morning issued its widely anticipated en banc opinion in the case of In re Bilski. The case concerned a patent application for a method of commodity hedging, under which a party would effectively serve as an intermediary between commodity providers and consumers (e.g., coal producers and electric utilities) and provide fixed pricing to both parties. By a 9-3 vote the court affirmed the decision of the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences rejecting the patent application, and provided important guidance on the patentability of “business methods.”