It’s not a stretch to say that many members of the patent bar were relieved when the U.S. Supreme Court finally issued its decision in Bilski v. Kappos this week. Considering that plenty of those lawyers—and the clients they represent—feared an opinion that would severely restrict what kind of technology is worthy of patent protection. As it turns out, those fears were misplaced.
Almost as soon as the decision came down Monday, The Prior Art’s inbox was filling up with e-mails from lawyers and law firm publicists offering expert commentary on what it all meant. (By the end, the number of pitches had hit nearly 40). One e-mail, from Goodwin Procter’s Stephen Schreiner, contained a statement that typified the joyous tone of the patent bar’s broader reaction. Schreiner said the Court had “launched the United States Patent System into the Information Age with the Bilski v. Kappos decision today….Rejecting the chorus from some demanding the Patent System be limited to Industrial Age technology, the Court answered with a flat ‘no,’ finding patents are available for software, business methods, medical diagnostic techniques, and other products of the Information Age.”
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