Should Business Methods be Patentable? Understanding the Impact on Society of Business Method Patents




Apple, Kirsten Sachwitz

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Patents have been an accepted method of encouraging research and development. In the recent past "the scope of technologies that can be patented has been increased to include, among other things, gene sequences, computer programs and methods of doing business (Hunt and Bessen 2004)." Business Methods patents have witnessed very rapid growth since the 1998 State Street case (149 F.3d 1368, 1998) outcome which held that there is no patentable subject matter exception for method of doing business (Allison and Hunter 2006). In other words, business methods are now considered patentable subject matter. This paper examines, whether or not there has been a positive impact in innovation, in particular from the Banking industry, which prior to the State Street Bank case was more restricted from obtaining patents for internal banking process innovations.



Entrepreneurship, Patent law, Finance, Banking, Business Method Patents, Entrepreneurship, Financial Service, Incentive Theory, State Street