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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Patent Ruling Sets Some Boundaries


“The Supreme Court on Monday loosened the limits on the kinds of inventions that are eligible for patent protection in a case that was closely watched for its impacts on innovation. At issue was a bid by two inventors to patent a business method for hedging risk in buying energy. The high court unanimously rejected the inventors’ claim, deeming their innovation too abstract to qualify for patent protection. But in doing so, it also rejected a lower court’s reasoning that only inventions involving machinery or physical ‘transformations’ are eligible for patents.” (Washington Post, Tuesday)

The ruling demonstrates how arbitrary “intellectual property” is.

FEE Timely Classic
“Do Patents Encourage or Hinder Innovation? The Case of the Steam Engine” by Michele Boldrin, David K. Levine, and Alessandro Nuvolari