In an LA Times article published today titled “Patent Rules Out of Date, Inventors Say“, IP think tank extraordinaire Mark Lemley was given some hefty sound bytes as he spoke out on the Bilski case. The article surrounds the inventors’ petition to the U.S. Supreme Court to reconsider their case, which was decided recently in the Federal Circuit. VERY generally, the decision essentially held that patents should be reserved for mechanical innovations, and not for business methods. When it was Lemley’s turn to speak, he was quoted with the following words on the Federal Circuit’s decision:
“What does it mean to be tied to a machine? If you attach ‘in a computer’ to your application for a process patent, is that enough to pass the machine-or-transformation test? The patent office has been saying no, that you need to show a special machine has been built for this purpose . . .
“The computer world has changed a lot since 1981. The courts have the power to adapt the law and keep it up with changing technologies, and they had been doing that. But Bilski is a step backward . . .”