(CN) – The Supreme Court on Monday ruled that the U.S. patent office was correct in denying a patent application for a system businesses can use to calculate seasonal risks of buying energy.
The high court upheld a federal appeals court ruling that a proposed patent by Bernard Bilski and Rand Warsaw was too obtuse to be patented. The two tried to patent a system for businesses and schools to assess risks when buying energy.
The two sued after the United States Patent and Trademark Office denied their application in 1997.
The question before the court then became whether processes can be patented when they don’t meet the “machine-or-transformation” test.
“A business method is simply one kind of ‘method’ that is at least in some circumstances, eligible for patenting,” Justice Anthony Kennedy wrote for the majority.
Scalia was joined by Justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen Breyer, John Paul Stevens and Sonia Sotomayor.
The case was argued last November.