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Are Business Methods Worthy Of Being Patented?

Publication Date: 
May 08, 2008
Daily Journal
Craig Anderson

Professor Mark Lemley is quoted in a Daily Journal article about the somewhat elusive question of what is patentable, and specifically whether business methods excluded from patentability:

"It isn't going to work, and we're going to throw out the good patents along with the bad," said Stanford Law Professor Mark Lemley, who filed a brief signed by a host of law professors.

Lemley said any attempt by the court to eliminate patents on business methods would inevitably affect patents on software and biotechnology inventions. "There isn't a clean line to draw," he said. "It's hard to come up with a definition that excludes software."

Instead of trying to ban business method patents, Lemley said the court should rely on the recent string of Supreme Court opinions that should make it easier to reject applications based, among other reasons, on inventions being too obvious to deserve protection.