Monday, June 01, 2009

Supreme Court grants cert for Bilski

The US Supreme Court has granted certiorari for Bilski v. Doll, of great interest to the patent community. The question here is whether or not a claimed invention needs to be tied to a particular machine, article or transformation. At issue here are many of the "business method" patents that popped up after the State Street Bank decision, as well as other more nebulous inventions of intangible items such as computer programs and algorithms, encoded EM waves... The SCOTUS Blog does a nice job of covering the issues, but the legal issues and jargon can be difficult to the uninitiated. Regardless of the outcome (the oral arguments won't occur until next Fall and the decision will be ???), the lawyers will be busy with lots of new fodder to argue about, interpret, reinterpret and so forth until they need another new ruling from on high. (Job security!)

I personally expect that the decision will provide strong clarification on many issues, but will leave other issues untouched. That seems to be the trend with the current court. Oh, oh...let me be trendy and mention that Sonia Sotomayor is clearly for/against this issue because she is__________________which makes her under/over/properly qualified for the SCOTUS.

I'm also still waiting for the resolution of Melendez-Dias v. Massachusetts. It can't be too much longer as the term is nearly over.

And speaking of Supreme Courts, the Minnesota Supreme Court heard arguments this morning over which former New Yorker will be my Junior Senator from Minnesota. I can't say that my state has been hurt in the last 8 months having just one senator; can we continue the experiment a little bit longer? We'd be the envy of the nation as we would have to listen to Senate political TV ads only once every 6 years.

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