After months of waiting, the United States Supreme Court issued its decision in the Bilski v. Kappos case earlier today. While the decision certainly merits careful analysis, I really like the overview set out in Julie Bort’s Supreme Court ruling dashes hopes that software patents will go away post on her Source Seeker blog on Network World’s Open Source Subnet.
Julie points out that “while the Supreme Court sided with the lower court in denying this one particular patent to Bilski and Warsaw”, its decision specifically states “that the “machine-or-transformation test” is not the sole test”. This means, not only “that business processes are still eligible for patents”, but also that the Supreme Court “actually struck down the restrictions [from the lower court]that would have made software patents more difficult, if not impossible, to get (or maybe enforce).”
I also really like the title of Dana Blankerhorn’s Bilski decision affects only Bilski post on ZDNet’s Linux and Open Source blog. It both reminds all of us what this case is really all about and succinctly summarizes the decision. While time (and further analysis) will tell, the Bilski decision, and its much-anticipated impact on open source software and patents, really does seem to be much ado about nothing!