Canadian Federal Court Affirms “Business Methods” Still Patentable in Canada
A federal court in Canada has ruled that a patent application filed by Amazon.com, LLC (“Amazon”) and directed to its “one-click” shopping method is eligible for patent protection. This ruling holds promise for U.S. inventors who want to protect their software and/or business method inventions in Canada.
On October 14, 2010, the Canadian federal court overturned rejections by the Canadian Patent Office, and upheld the eligibility of the Amazon “one-click” invention for Canadian patent protection. The claimed process, which has been pending in Canada since 1998, enables an Internet shopper who has purchasing information stored on a computer, such as in a “cookie,” to buy an item with just a single click of the mouse or other pointing device.
The decision is being lauded in the U.S. as a Canadian version of the recent U.S. Supreme Court Bilski decision, which upheld the patentability of business methods. In the Canadian decision, business method patents are available in Canada “under specific circumstances.” Those circumstances appear close in line with the U.S. “machine-or-transformation” test, which tests for a process to be tied to a machine, or transform a physical object to a different state or thing. Thus, it appears that Canadian patent law is in line with U.S. patent law, particularly with respect to patenting business method and software inventions. The Canadian patent office is entitled appeal the federal court decision to a federal appeals court, although there is no indication at this point that an appeal will be taken.
Click Here for Ostrolenk Faber’s recent report on the U.S. Supreme Court Decision in Bilski v. Kappos.
Click Here for the Canadian Court’s Amazon decision.
Check back with the Ostrolenk Faber web site for developments in the recent Canadian ruling.