Supreme Court Bilski Hearing: Potential Danger for Software Firms

November 10, 2009

November 10, 2009 (San Francisco, CA) — Stuart Meyer, partner in the Intellectual Property and Litigation Groups of Fenwick & West LLP, was quoted exclusively in the bNet article "Supreme Court Bilski Hearing: Potential Danger for Software Firms."

Yesterday the Bilski case, which could determine the level of IP protection that software companies are granted for their business method patents, was heard by the United States Supreme Court. The decision by the Court of Appeals for the Federal District was particularly difficult for software companies because their inventions are often simply business methods in an automated form. After the Court of Appeals ruling in June 2009, Stuart Meyer stated that, "The Supreme Court could also completely overturn the decision, find some middle ground, or even say that method patents are allowable under U.S. law, but offer a different test to determine whether a specific method would pass muster."

Meyer, who attended the oral arguments at the Supreme Court, summarized his impressions of the Justices' reactions based upon their questions. "Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked many questions, particularly why there couldn't be a clear test of whether business method patents passed muster and what would be wrong with simply saying that business methods weren't patentable," Meyer dictated.

To read the bNet article in its entirety, click here.

About the Fenwick & West Intellectual Property Litigation Group

Fenwick & West attorneys have handled some of the most prominent IP litigation over the past two decades, including securing one of the largest IP litigation settlements of 2005—a $400M settlement for its client Compuware against IBM—and one of the largest patent verdicts of the past eighteen months, a $74.7M patent litigation verdict for client Asyst Technologies against Jenoptik. The firm is ranked by Managing Intellectual Property as one of the top five West coast firms for IP litigation, by IP Worldwide as one of the top dozen firms that Fortune 500 companies relied on for IP litigation, and was recently awarded "Most Innovative Use of Technology by a Law Firm" by American Lawyer Media for the firm's proprietary electronic discovery tools.