Odds and Ends

Here’s an update on three things that I have blogged about:

1.  As Michael indicated, the Supreme Court granted cert in Bilski.  I am reluctant to say that this is the most important patent case in years, because it sounds too much like the cliche that an election is the “most important in our lifetime,” which is repeated every four years.  But the Justices did reject the SG’s advice to deny the petition, which suggests that something is afoot.  (Gratuitous citations to my business method patent paper on SSRN are always welcome.)

2.   Two months ago, I posted about constitutional problems raised by nationalization.  I noted then that the question of whether these firms should be treated as state actors for constitutional purposes would be important.  At that time, the issue was whether AIG was a state actor because the taxpayers owned an 80% stake.  Now we own 60% of GM.  Does that make GM a state actor until those shares are sold?

3.  The Minnesota Senate Race — still unresolved.

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1 Response

  1. Bilski is unimportant. Patent drafters have proven their ability to sculpt their claims around every subject matter doctrine the courts come up with. The only thing that throws them is changes in the standard. After this next change, they’ll revert to a steady-state, as usual. The cases that deal with substantive issues of patentability and enforcement matter a lot more. KSR and MercExchange are both easily more important than Bilski will be — whatever the Supreme Court holds.