Patent Law Keyed to Adelman
In re Bilski
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Plaintiffs submitted a patent application containing eleven claims related to a method for managing consumption risk of a consumer commodity. Plaintiffs admitted that the commodity may not be a physical commodity but could be options for future purchases. The examiner determined the method was manipulating an abstract idea, did not involve specific equipment, and therefore was not directed to the "technological arts." The examiner rejected all eleven claims of the application. The Plaintiffs appealed to the Board, which held that the examiner had applied the wrong test when using the "technological arts" test and should not have required specific equipment because "transformation" of physical subject matter was eligible for patent and may not require specific equipment. The Board sustained the rejection, but, on the grounds the claims did not involve a transformation, attempted to patent an abstract idea, and did not produce a "useful, concrete and tangible result." Plaintiffs appealed the Board's final determination.
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