The court may have been trying to promote technological advances. But the real-life effect was to gut the rule that had prevented the patenting of abstract ideas in areas like medical research. In 2004, Prometheus claimed the Mayo Clinic had infringed a patent on a seemingly simple process for diagnosing patients. The procedure was the kind of analysis based on observation that doctors do every day, the clinic complained. But the Federal Circuit upheld the patent. The case is due at the Supreme Court next month.
Reuters (blog), Reynolds Holding, 11/18/11
Tags: Legal / Leadership