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Supreme Court Expands Patent Protections

Published on 06/30/2010 -

In one of its more substantial recent rulings with respect to intellectual property, the Supreme Court has afforded greater patent protection to inventors.

In the highly anticipated Bilski v. Kappos decision, the Court maintains that patent law must be flexible enough to handle the recent surge in patent applications.

In 2008, the United States Patent and Trademark Office granted twice as many patents as in 1990.

This new ruling overturns a previous decision that severely limited patent protection to specific parts of inventions.

The Supreme Court's ruling essentially does away with the 'machine or transformation test' which limited patents to parts of a machine or to something that transforms one thing into another.

This decision will afford great flexibility to innovators. More than 65 amicus briefs were filed by noted biotechnology and research groups including Yahoo, Bank of America, Microsoft, and the University of California.

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