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What is a business method patent?

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A business method patent is a specific type of patent class, wherein new methods of transacting business are taught. Business method patents have a long history of controversy, with the most recent complaints generally focused on the broadness of such issued patents and whether or not they should actually be considered valid as patentable subject matter. After many rulings by the U.S. court systems, the USPTO has established some guidelines covering business method patents. Unlike in the past, business method patents now do not need to apply, involve, use, or advance the “technological arts.” Furthermore, the disclosed process for doing business must yield a useful and tangible result for it to even be considered patentable.

At the moment, business method patents are in a state of flux, with the application process taking longer than usual under most circumstances, due to a combination of multiple court rulings and a lack of qualified examiners. To alleviate some of the pressure, the USPTO added business method patent applications to their new Peer-to-Patent pilot program, in which volunteered patent applications are made public so that any knowledgeable members may assist an examiner during the review process.

For more information on intellectual property, please visit Patent, Trademark, Copyright Information.

The content of this article is not intended to be, and does not constitute, legal advice and does not create attorney-client privilege. Consult the attorney of your choice before embarking on any legal matter or any document preparation/filing.

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Dr. Thomas R. (Terry) Williamson III is a Patent Attorney practicing in Atlanta, Georgia.

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Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC
1870 The Exchange, Suite 100
Atlanta, GA 30339
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Williamson Intellectual Property Law, LLC
1870 The Exchange, Suite 100 - Atlanta, Georgia 30339