Talk:Business method patent

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Patentability of electromagnetic signals[edit]

In the recent guidelines on patentable subject matter that the USPTO has issued, the have reiterated their position that electromagnetic signals per se, do not fall into one of the four classes of patentable subject matter. None the less, they have asked for comments from the public. Below are arguments FOR the patentabiliy of electromagnetic signals. There is also room for arguments against patentability. Wiki editors are invited to contribute and enhance both sets of arguments.--Nowa 21:43, 29 October 2005 (UTC)

Arguments FOR the patentabilty of electromagnetic signals[edit]

It protects US commerce. With off-shoring common, it is necessary to prevent the importation of objects manufactured by processes protected by US patents. Electromagnetic signals are what computers produce. If signals were patentable, then inventors could demand a license for the importation of said signals into the US. Thus infringers could not get around a patented computer implemented process merely by locating the computer outside the US and then transmitting the results of a computation (e.g. electromagnetic signal) into the US.

Electromagnetic signals are judicially determined to have physical substance. The author of the guidelines quotes Alappat wherein it states that a smooth waveform is “ ‘a useful, concrete, and tangible result’ “. A smooth waveform is one example of an electromagnetic signal. Electromagnetic signals, therefore, have physical substance (e.g. concrete, tangible) within the meaning of the law.

An artificially produced electromagnetic signal meets the judicially accepted definition of manufacture.

The author quotes Diamond v. Chakrabarty for a definition of a manufacture:

“The production of articles for use from raw or prepared materials by giving these materials new forms, qualities, properties, or combinations, whether by hand-labor or by machinery”

As indicated above, an electromagnetic signal with certain defined physical properties is both concrete useful and tangible. It is therefore an article for use. The raw materials for a manufactured electromagnetic signal can be, for example, a carrier wave with no signal encoded. Said carrier wave is modified to produce the desired manufactured signal. The new signal has new properties, such as content and structure. These new properties are readily detectible, such as by a modem attached to a computer. The manufactured signal is produced by a machine, such as a computer.

Arguments AGAINST the patentability of electromagnetic signals[edit]

Have at it.

How about that the Federal Circuit has upheld the decision of the PTO that signals are patent-ineligible and the Supreme Court has denied certiorari. See In re Nuitjen, 500 F.3d 1346 (Fed. Cir. 2007). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Controversy over current degree US business method patent availability[edit]

This article lacks an info on the debate in the US over the kinds of business method patents current be handed out. For example, One-click patent has been used as a example of a claimed problem with current patent law as it pertains to business methods. Their are US patent law critics who argue that business method patents should be restricted to a greater degree then they currently are in the US. Some even go so far as to argue they be prohibited outright. I am not fully versed on the arguments for and against the current state of business method patent availability but someone who is should add something on the controversy and debate. --Cab88 10:33, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

Cab88, thank you for your comments. A good place to discuss controversy surrounding business method patents might be software patent debate. The issues are similar, since business method patents are largely computer implemented inventions.--Nowa 11:32, 16 May 2006 (UTC)

dubiously relevant business method patents from 1799 and 1815[edit]

The article currently cites business method patents from the early days of the US patent office, with two specific examples from 1799 and 1815. However, during this time period (1793–1836) patents were issued automatically rather than being examined (perhaps a bit like a utility model) and the idea was that courts would rule on their validity after they were issued (see History of patent law and [1]). So it seems misleading to use patents issued during this time as evidence of business method patents being considered allowable then. However, I'm not sure how to fix this without committing original research. Perhaps others have written histories of business method patents which would present a more comprehensive view of what was and was not patented during this time period (and what held up in court, especially pre-1836)? I'm certainly no expert on the academic literature on this subject, though. Kingdon 22:38, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Good points. It's probabably worth mentioning that from 1799 to 1836 US patents were issued automatically. Perhaps it's worth discussing the enforceability of business method patents in a separate section. Was State Street, for example, the first successful enforcement of a business method patent?--Nowa 10:57, 6 October 2007 (UTC)
The concurring opinion of Judge Dyk in In re Bilski, Oct. 30, 2008, Fed. Cir., explains at length why this claim of early business method patents is insupportable.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

List of business method patents?[edit]

Is there a list somewhere of different business method patents? Some concrete examples for discussion would sure help out, instead of generalities about them.
~ender 2007-11-23 10:38:AM MST

The USPTO puts most "business method patents" into class 705. This link will show you a list Current issued US patents in class 705.--Nowa (talk) 17:43, 23 November 2007 (UTC)


The recent move was clearly inapprorpriate, and at least unnecessary for two reasons:

  1. WP:NCCN - USe common names for things. The hyphen is certainly not in common usage.
  2. The lack of a hyphen does not result in any ambiguity, and is therefore unnecessary and, according to the article on compound modifier advised against by various style guides.

Thanks for listening. GDallimore (Talk) 09:34, 3 July 2009 (UTC)

Update needed[edit]

This article, at least insofar as it concerns US law, badly needs an update in light of the 2014 Supreme Court decision in Alice v CLS Bank and subsequent Federal Circuit cases. PraeceptorIP (talk) 19:09, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

True, but it's still a bit early to tell what the actual impact will be.--Nowa (talk) 19:56, 12 September 2014 (UTC)
I have tagged the corresponding sections for now. --Edcolins (talk) 20:05, 12 September 2014 (UTC)