U.S. Files Brief in Bilski v. Kappos

In the U.S. Supreme Court case of Bilski v. Kappos, the Brief for the Respondent has been filed by the U.S. Departments of Commerce and Justice and the Patent and Trademark Office. The arguments are organized into the following sections:

I. Section 101 protects industrial and technological processes, and it excludes methods directed to organizing human activity

A. Section 101 sweeps broadly but imposes meaningful limits on the scope of patent protection

B.The term “process” in Section 101 encompasses technological and industrial processes but excludes methods of organizing human activity

1. The historical meaning of the terms “process” and useful “art” demonstrates that only technological and industrial processes are patent-eligible

2. The statutory context confirms that only technological and industrial methods are patent-eligible “processes”

C. A patent eligible “process” under Section 101 is one that concerns the operation of a particular machine or apparatus or effects a transformation of matter into a different state or thing

1. This Court has consistently used the machine-or-transformation test to identify patent-eligible processes

2. A process is patent-eligible if it concerns the operation of a machine or effects a transformation of matter into a different state or thing

3. The machine-or-transformation test accommodates evolving technology

4. The alternative tests for patent-eligibility proposed by petitioners and amici do not appropriately limit patent protection

II. Section 273 does not implicitly expand the categories of patent-eligible subject matter in Section 101

III. The court of appeals correctly rejected petitioners’ claimed method of hedging financial risk under Section 101

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