On June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court announced its decision in Bilski v. Kappos. The question in this case was whether a "process" must be tied to a particular machine or apparatus or transform a particular article into a different state or thing in order to be eligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. § 101.
In an opinion delivered by Justice Kennedy, the Court held that although business methods are not categorically unpatentable, the particular patent at issue in this case was an unpatentable "abstract idea" precluded from patentability by the Court’s precedents.
To discuss the case, we have University of Chicago Law School and New York University Law School Professor Richard A. Epstein, who signed an amicus brief in support of the petitioner.