Patent Pending: Reform Eludes IP
Professor Mark A. Lemley is quoted in the Daily Journal in a story about evolving trends in Intellectual Property Law through 2008:
While the legal industry was rattled as the economy drifted into recession and then a shock, intellectual property attorneys felt comparatively secure during 2008 in the knowledge that their skills would remain needed.
Without major U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the horizon, attorneys identified a variety of interesting developments, trends, and rulings that captured the attention of IP practitioners during the past 12 months.
Significant for October was the Bilski ruling. The court, ruling en banc, said inventions are only patentable if tied to a machine or a physical transformation. The Bilski majority's reasoning tied it closely to past U.S. Supreme Court precedent, making it more difficult for the high court to overrule without abandoning its own precedent.
...Stanford Law School Professor Mark Lemley said the ruling is a big deal nonetheless. "Bilski is extraordinarily significant because it cuts back on patentable subject matter and opens up a Pandora's Box of issues for future years," he said.