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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.
((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.