FFII and IP Justice file Bilski Amicus Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court

Washington DC, 6 October 2009 — The Foundation for a Free Informational Infrastructure (FFII) and IP Justice filed an Amicus Curiae Brief to the U.S. Supreme Court. The case Bilski v. Kappos is expected to become a landmark ruling on the future of the U.S. patent system. The joint Brief explains the interlink of software and business methods, and points out alternatives to the so called Machine-or-Transformation test used for categorizing patents.

Bilski v. Kappos, currently pending before the U.S. Supreme Court, is considered the single most important decision worldwide on the issue of patents on business methods, software and algorithms since the rejection of the Software Patents Directive by the European Parliament.

“In Europe there still exists a myth of ‘anything goes’ as far as patentability in the US is concerned, although the Supreme Court has laid down rather strict rules on what is eligible subject matter – and what is not.” says Laura Creighton, a Swedish entrepreneur.

“Software literally consists of abstract ideas”, explains Dr. Peter Gerwinski from the FFII Bilski Working Group. “We have asked the Supreme Court to consider some practical realities and to formulate a test that preserves the traditional exclusion of abstract ideas from the field of patentable material.”

FFII Secretary André Rebentisch highlights the transatlantic significance: “It is a delicate challenge of the U.S. Supreme Court: to find an applicable tests for patent examination of business methods. We lack a definite yardstick, a ‘quadrature of the patent’. We cannot wait to see the Supreme Court’s approach because it will shape the international harmonization debate.”


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The FFII is a not-for-profit association active in over fifty countries, dedicated to the development of information goods for the public benefit, based on copyright, free competition, and open standards. More than 1000 members, 3,500 companies and 100,000 supporters have entrusted the FFII to act as their voice in public policy questions concerning exclusion rights in data processing.

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