Welcome to WebmasterWorld Guest from

Forum Moderators: LifeinAsia

Message Too Old, No Replies

US Supreme Court Takes on Business Method Patents

A long running debate reaches the high court

2:01 pm on Nov 9, 2009 (gmt 0)

Preferred Member

10+ Year Member

joined:Apr 24, 2004
votes: 0

Between 1998 and 2002 business methods patents were at the heart of developing many web-based businesses. A large number of companies submitted business method patent applications and, for a time, many were awarded. Of course, the classic one is Amazon’s 1-Click patent but there are other notable ones including Priceline’s name your own price bidding method, and Yahoo's delivery of ads based on keyword searching (BTW – this one was licensed to Google).

However, by 2005 the tide turned on business method patents as the USPTO started getting tough on what they would approve and several court decisions made these patents more difficult to come by.

Now the U.S. Supreme Court is taking up the matter [bloomberg.com]. I believe the implications of their decision could be significant. If they relax the requirements then expect Round 2 of a flood of patent applications. If they rule the other way then a key leverage point of many online businesses could be lost.

For anyone running a web business this is something to watch closely.

4:10 am on Jan 4, 2010 (gmt 0)

New User

10+ Year Member

joined:Feb 14, 2007
votes: 0

Clicked on the link in the original post.

((Wall of text, eyes rolled))

Googled the phrase "Bilski v. Kappos, 08-964" then realized that Google is an active participant in the case, and wondered how much I could trust the results.

I am keenly interested in the business method patent (I'm sure I'm the only one) but I can't understand what's happening from reading the pages about it.

Europe has reneged, denounced, and abandoned the entire concept in toto. If you figure out a way to sell hamburgers in Europe, I can do the exact same thing on the opposite corner.

Not always true in America.

The flip side to this is that an American can legally stop other Americans from practicing his (patented) business methods, but Europeans can legally do the exact same biz that Americans cannot.

For almost any internet biz, that means jobs exported to Europe.

So, what's happening ?

As usual, confused without a clue here.


Join The Conversation

Moderators and Top Contributors

Hot Threads This Week

Featured Threads

Free SEO Tools

Hire Expert Members