USINESS METHODS are increasingly important to the global economy, particularly in light of the expansion of e-commerce. The World Trade Organization’s Agreement on Trade-Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) does not specifically address business method patents. In this environment, it is uncertain whether one can obtain an international equivalent of a business method patent granted in the U.S., especially those U.S. patents that are now patentable as a result of the watershed State Streetdecision. �
The State Streetdecision has significantly increased the number of issued U.S. computer or software-implemented business method patents. Prior to State Street, business method patents were not formally classified by the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO). Since the State Streetdecision, the USPTO has attempted to classify all business method patents in Manual of Classification (MoC) Class 705, titled “Data Processing, Financial, Business Practice, Management, or Cost/Price Determination.”
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