PublishedNovember 9, 2009

Supreme Court Hears Bilski Patent Case

As the Supreme Court heard arguments in Bilski v. Kappos (08-964) today, a case which should help answer the question, ‘what is patentable?’ – the Computer & Communications Industry Association urged the Court to correct a patent system that has run amok.

CCIA argued in a friend-of-the-court brief before the Supreme Court and the court below, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, that the radical expansion of what is patentable in recent years has threatened information technology and the stability of the patent system.

The following comment may be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“The unprecedented expansion of the patent system and the ensuing virtual land-rush that it created put lawyers in charge of innovation and enabled opportunism to trump opportunity. All of this has produced a crisis of credibility in our intellectual property system. It is time to get back to basics, where our IP law promotes progress, not patenting, and where discovery is what inventors do, instead of what lawyers do.

“All intellectual property regimes can provide benefits, but they all inherently come at a cost to other values. Excessive patent protections impose massive costs to the next generation of innovators and provide little benefit.”

“We hope the arguments presented today move the Supreme Court to return to the wisdom of its earlier rulings and affirm strong principles about the limits of patentable subject matter.”

Additional background:

  • The lack of limits on patentable subject matter as a result of the State Street decision has created chaos in the marketplace and provided fertile breeding ground for patent trolls. CCIA has commended the Federal Circuit decision in Bilski as an effort to redraw the limits consistent with Supreme Court precedent.
  • CCIA was encouraged by the Federal Circuit decision in Bilski because it cuts back on what has been an extremely problematic area in the patent system that stems from granting patents on abstract subject matter.
  • For CCIA’s amicus brief filed in this Supreme Court case last month, click here

 

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