Should Pythagoras Have Been Entitled To A Patent?

Law360, New York (July 8, 2011, 5:17 PM EDT) -- Mathematical formulas and other abstract ideas cannot be patented because the U.S. Supreme Court has held that they do not constitute patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101. This issue frequently arises in patents involving business methods and computer software. Unfortunately, neither the courts nor the patent office has provided a satisfactory explanation for why processes that consist entirely of applying mathematical formulas are not patentable.

Decisions regarding patentable subject matter would be better reasoned, and more consistent, if they were based on meaningful guidance...
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