11 Colum. Sci. & Tech. L. Rev. 1 (2010)

handle is hein.journals/cstlr11 and id is 1 raw text is: The Columbia
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY LAw REVIEW
www.stlr.org
PREDICTABILITY AND PATENTABLE PROCESSES: THE FEDERAL CIRCUIT'S IN RE BiLsKi DECISION AND
ITs EFFECT ON THE INCENTIVE TO INVENT
William Michael Schuster'
Throughout the past two centuries, the U.S. patent system has
defined the scope of (potentially) patentable processes by proscribing
patents on fundamental principles (including abstract ideas, laws of nature,
and natural phenomena). Unfortunately, such a description of patentable
subject matter led to ambiguity and unpredictability in the application of
the patent laws. In 2008, the Federal Circuit addressed this uncertainty by
promulgating a new standard to describe the ambit of patentable
processes: a process may constitute patentable subject matter if (1) it
utilizes a particular machine or apparatus, or (2) it transforms an object
into a different state or thing.
This Article describes how the Federal Circuit's new standard
furthers the underlying policy goal of all patent laws: the incentivization
of innovation. Specifically, this paper argues that this new rule presents a
simple and easy to apply standard that will increase the predictability of
the patent laws. In the presence of such predictability, prospective
inventors and investors are more likely to engage in research and
development, thus leading to increased inventive activity.
William Michael Schuster is a patent attorney licensed to practice law in the state of Texas.
This Article was prepared as his LLM thesis at New York University School of Law. Mr.
Schuster thanks Professor Rochelle Dreyfuss for her invaluable guidance. Mr. Schuster also
thanks his lovely wife for her patience and encouragement during this project. All opinions
expressed in this Article are the author's alone and do not represent the opinions of his employer.
Available at http://www.stlr.org/cite.cgi?volume=1 1&article=1
This work is made available under the
Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 License

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