Bilski v. Kappos


Question(s) Presented

“[W]hether a patent can be issued for a claimed invention designed for the business world.”


“Today, the Court once again declines to impose limitations on the Patent Act that are inconsistent with the Act’s text. The patent application here can be rejected under our precedents on the unpatentability of abstract ideas. The Court, therefore, need not define further what constitutes a patentable ‘process,’ beyond pointing to the definition of that term provided in [35 U.S.C.] § 100(b) and looking to the guideposts in [Gottschalk v.] Benson[, 409 U.S. 63 (1972)], [Parker v.] Flook[, 437 U.S. 584 (1978)], and [Diamond v.] Diehr[, 450 U.S. 175 (1981)]. . . . It may be that the Court of Appeals thought it needed to make the machine-or-transformation test exclusive precisely because its case law had not adequately identified less extreme means of restricting business method patents, including (but not limited to) application of our opinions in Benson, Flook, and Diehr. In disapproving an exclusive machine-or-transformation test, we by no means foreclose the Federal Circuit’s development of other limiting criteria that further the purposes of the Patent Act and are not inconsistent with its text.”