"Bilski" is a series of court cases in the USA, culminating in a Supreme Court ruling which had limited impact on the patentability of software. The Bilski patent itself is a business method patent, not a software patent, but it was hoped that the court would give a ruling broad enough to affect the patentability of software. The final outcome was disappointingly narrow.
The USPTO rejected Bilski's patent. Bilski appealed to the USPTO's Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, but was rejected again. Bilski took the USPTO to the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC), again demanding that his patent be granted. Again rejected (in re Bilski, 2008). So Bilski asked the US Supreme Court to review the CAFC's decision. They agreed to hear the case (Bilski v. Kappos, 2010) but also rejected the patent.
Why is it important?
The 2008 ruling of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) was broad enough to reject Bilski's patent and a certain category of software patents.
The Supreme Court's ruling could greatly change the patentability of software patents, business method patents, and the middle ground of e-commerce patents.
Related pages on ESP Wiki
The related pages on this wiki are:
- Bilski v. Kappos (2009, USA) - at the US Supreme Court
- In re Bilski - the 2008 case at the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC)
- Machine-or-transformation - the test put in place by the CAFC in 2008
- Bilski 3 - brainstorming for the future
- Bilski brainstorming - a page previously used while drafting FSF's brief to the Supreme Court
- Case law in the USA
- Bilski's patent - the text of the application
- ESP's About Bilski
- AwakenIP's list of all official documents, for both the CAFC and the Supreme Court cases
- The Post-Bilski landscape: Why some tried, but failed, to ban "business method" patents, July 15th 2010