US: Extraits de la décision de la Cour suprême dans l’affaire Bilski

Bilski v. Kappos

(b) The machine-or-transformation test is not the sole test for patent eligibility under §101.

(c) Section 101 similarly precludes a reading of the term “process” that would categorically exclude business methods. The term “method” within §100(b)’s “process” definition, at least as a textualmatter and before other consulting other Patent Act limitations andthis Court’s precedents, may include at least some methods of doingbusiness.



(d) Even though petitioners’ application is not categorically outsideof §101 under the two atextual approaches the Court rejects today,that does not mean it is a “process” under §101. Petitioners seek to patent both the concept of hedging risk and the application of that concept to energy markets. Under Benson, Flook, and Diehr, however, these are not patentable processes but attempts to patent abstract ideas. Claims 1 and 4 explain the basic concept of hedging andreduce that concept to a mathematical formula. This is an unpatentable abstract idea, just like the algorithms at issue in Benson and Flook. Petitioners’ remaining claims, broad examples of how hedging can be used in commodities and energy markets, attempt to patent the use of the abstract hedging idea, then instruct the use of wellknown random analysis techniques to help establish some of the inputs into the equation. They add even less to the underlying abstract principle than the invention held patent ineligible in Flook.


(e) Because petitioners’ patent application can be rejected under the Court’s precedents on the unpatentability of abstract ideas, theCourt need not define further what constitutes a patentable “process,” beyond pointing to the definition of that term provided in §100(b) and looking to the guideposts in Benson, Flook, and Diehr. Nothing in today’s opinion should be read as endorsing the Federal Circuit’s past interpretations of §101. See, e.g., State Street, 49 F. 3d, at 1373. The appeals court may have thought it needed to make themachine-or-transformation test exclusive precisely because its caselaw had not adequately identified less extreme means of restrictingbusiness method patents. In disapproving an exclusive machine-ortransformation test, this Court by no means desires to preclude the Federal Circuit’s development of other limiting criteria that furtherthe Patent Act’s purposes and are not inconsistent with its text.



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