You may recall that Amazon wanted to patent the so called one click method to make a purchase on the Internet. I remember at the time thinking how ludcrious it was and that the patent should be rejected. It now seems at least one appeals court has come to their senses and is setting some standards as to what patents can and should be.
According to a recent press article, it stated that:
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled on Thursday that the patent application at issue was not tied to a machine and did not result in a transformation, both standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court for patentability.
“I think there’s some narrowing of what you need to get a business method patent,” said Michael Bregenzer, an attorney with Reed Smith LLP.
The case is widely expected to be appealed to the Supreme Court, something the appeals court acknowledged in its opinion.
Business methods were widely considered unpatentable until a 1998 ruling by the same appeals court. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office issued 1,330 such patents last year, up from 120 in 1997, according to figures on its website.
I personally believe that inventions should be protected. But when it comes to such things such as a ‘mouse click’, it seems that the system needs to be revamped. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction.