On March 9, 1993, Signature Financial Group, Inc. was granted entitled "Data Processing System for Hub and Spoke Financial Services Configuration". The "spokes" were mutual funds that pool their assets in a central "hub". That the invention described and claimed in the patent constituted protectable subject matter was affirmed by Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in July 1998.
The court held that
This is considered by many to be significant because previously "methods of doing business" had been widely speculated to be an excluded class of patentable subject matter, although some point out that the issue was never directly addressed by the courts until the State Street decision.
The Federal Circuit in this opinion observed that
The Federal Circuit found it unnecessary to carve out a new exception to the principle that "anything under the sun made by man is patentable" (a phrase from the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Chakrabarty decision based on a 1952 report from the Congress). Accordingly, that principle is equally applicable to any business method that produces a useful, concrete and tangible result.
According to many, this ruling has been a major impetus behind the recent boom in software and business method patents. Others argue that the boom started much earlier, i.e., in the early 1990s. Regardless, some commentators see the boom as harmful and others as beneficial.
EPA REACHES AGREEMENT WITH GENERAL ELECTRIC COMPANY AND SI GROUP, INC. TO PROTECT DRINKING WATER AT THE DEWEY LOEFFEL LANDFILL SUPERFUND SITE IN NASSAU, NEW YORK.
Apr 11, 2012; NEW YORK, N.Y -- The following information was released by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency: The U.S. Environmental...