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Appeals Court Rejects Business Method Patents

By Reuters -  |  Posted 2008-10-30 Print this article Print

Internet companies, software makers, and others may be able to breathe a sigh of relief after a U.S. court of appeals ruled that a method for reducing the risk of sudden changes in energy costs could not be patented.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A U.S. patent appeals court ruled on Thursday that business methods, such as Amazon.com Inc's one-click to buy goods on the Internet, cannot be patented.

The case was closely watched by software makers, Internet companies, investment houses and other businesses.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said the patent application in question -- a method for reducing the risk of sudden changes in energy costs -- was not a machine and did not result in a transformation, both standards set by the U.S. Supreme Court for patentability.

Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw had challenged the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office's rejection of their request to patent their method for managing energy price risks.

"The decision of the board is affirmed," the court said.

(Reporting by Diane Bartz; Editing by Andre Grenon)

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