Well, well, well. Following the rather ridiculously vague
Bilski ruling, that doesn't actually say what the right test should be for whether or not business methods or software should be patentable, many people have been wondering what it really means. While some of the justices have hinted
at the idea that most software really isn't patentable, that's not at all clear from the ruling. Instead, the ruling suggests that the courts come up with a new test, and then the Supreme Court will tell them whether or not that new test is okay. Many software patent system supporters have interpreted this to mean that software patents are perfectly okay. But perhaps they shouldn't go that far just yet.
Groklaw is pointing out that, in the first post-Bilski ruling by the Board of Patents Appeals and Interferences (BPAI), a software patent application from HP has been rejected
, with the BPAI saying that "abstract software code" is not patentable, as per Bilski. We've heard that plenty of people at the USPTO aren't fans of software patents themselves, so if they start ruling that most software is "abstract software code," things could get pretty interesting, pretty fast.