Patented over the Internet?

By Travis H. Brown

As a patent co-inventor of a system and method for managing legislative information using multiple websites, this Missouri Lawyer’s Weekly article about the WildTangent lawsuit got my attention.

Recently, the United States Supreme Court ordered a lower court to reconsider a decision to allow patent protection for some kinds of internet-based methods such as the one found in the Ultramercial, LLC dispute.  Without reading the details of case WildTangent Inc. v. Ultramercial LLC, 11-962, it is hard to know what kinds of complex computer programming has been put into question.

For those who develop ideas beyond the abstract, and may only have certain protection for that programming time, any carving away from business method patents may not be very good news.  However, that’s why the courts are in place to determine such validity once disputes arise.

Others that often cite the Bilski case have much more to say about abstract ideas.