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The Supreme Court Has Issued Its Opinion in Bilski v. Kappos: Many Questions Have Been Answered But Many More Remain

On June 28, 2010, The United States Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion in Bilski v. Kappos. The opinion addresses the standard for patentability of method claims under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Although the Court affirmed the decision of the Federal Circuit rendering Petitioners claimed process for hedging risk in a commodities transaction unpatentable, the Court rejected the Federal Circuit's en banc decision establishing the machine-or-transformation test as the sole test for determining whether a claimed process is patent eligible. In so holding, the Court refused to establish a definitive test for patentability beyond the language of § 101 and its prior precedent; and the Court declined to hold that business methods are per se unpatentable.