08/25/2010 03:59:00 PM EST
Bilski v. Kappos, 2010 U.S. LEXIS 5521 (U.S. June 28, 2010)
The Supreme Court, for the first time since the Federal Circuit's decision in State Street Bank & Trust Co. v. Signature Fin. Group Inc., 149 F.3d 1368 (Fed. Cir. 1998), addressed the proper standard for determining whether a claimed process is patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. At issue was whether a process must be (1) tied to a particular machine or apparatus or (2) transform a particular article into a different state or thing to be patent eligible (the "Machine-or-Transformation Test"). The decision's impact on the patentability of tax strategies is yet to be determined.
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An August 25th teleconference on the future of tax strategy patents after the Supreme Court decision in a business method patent case offered little hope of quick action, either by Congress or the judiciary. The teleconference was sponsored by the American Bar Association Section of Taxation.
For details, see the TaxAnalysts® news story on LexisNexis® Tax Center