Michael Geist explains the current status of business method patents in Canada where, so far, they have been firmly rejected – unlike in the United States:
Most people think of patents in terms of legal protection for new technological inventions. There is another form of patent, however. A business method patent is one awarded for a special technique for doing business such as improvements to a company’s accounting or sales department.
Business method patents have proven very controversial in the United States, which has been home to dozens of lawsuits over their validity. By contrast, Canada has tried to craft a balance that neither embraces nor completely rejects them. That policy may be changing, however, as the Canadian Patent Appeal Board recently denied an appeal by Amazon.com over a “one-click” ordering system patent with strong language that challenged the notion that business method patents are patentable under Canadian law.
Although recent rulings in the U.S. have cast doubts on business method patents here, it is interesting to see their fate in a neighbouring country with a related – but quite distinct – legal system.
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