"On November 9, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in Bilski v. Kappos, a case that could have a big impact on the future of online video.
In 1997, Investors Bernard L. Bilski and Rand A. Warsaw attempted to patent a business method they had invented—specifically, a method of hedging risks. When brought to court, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit rejected the patent. In its ruling, the appeals court stressed a test for patentability known as the “machine-or-transformation test.” This test establishes that a process is patentable in two instances: one, if it’s tied to a machine, or two, if it transforms something from one state to another. The appeals court left the decision’s effects on software ambiguous. Immediately after the initial Bilski ruling, the patent office rejected four applications from IBM, citing that a machine wasn’t necessary for their processes. "
Read the story here: http://openvideoalliance.org/2009/10/supreme-court-to-reconsider-software-patents/