FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
September 25, 2007
Contact: Richard B. Racine 202.408.4038
Federal Circuit Restricts Patent Protection
Available to Business Methods and Signal Claims
Under 35 U.S.C. § 101
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garrett & Dunner, LLP announced today that in two decisions issued September 20, 2007, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit limited the reach of patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101, which permits patenting “any new and useful process, machine, manufacture, or composition of matter.” In In re Comiskey, the Court held that claims reciting business methods can be patented only if a claimed process involves another class of statutory subject matter, such as a computer. In In re Nuijten, the Court held that a signal is unpatentable subject matter because “transitory electrical and electromagnetic signals propagating through some medium” do not fall within a statutory category of patentable subject matter.
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