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Business Method Patents


It may be possible for you to get a patent on the way you do business and prevent rivals from stealing your unique approach.

You can file for a business method patent, and if it's granted, you gain the exclusive right to that business method for the regular patent life span of 20 years.
Business method patents are the creation of a recent court ruling that involved a computer program for mutual fund administration. In this case, the United States Court of Appeals ruled that methods of doing business can be patented just like any other type of invention. (State Street Bank v. Signature Financial Group, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit)

The State Street ruling, along with the rise of the Internet and e-commerce, has resulted in an avalanche in business method patent filings, particularly for techniques used on the Web.

These patents cover many of the most popular and well-known Internet and financial services technologies. For example, Next Card®, recently received a patent for the issuance of online credit. The reverse auction method of is covered by several patents. A Toronto-based marketing firm applied for a patent on a method of "viral marketing" that allows Internet users to become participants in corporate marketing.

While there has been grumbling in some quarters about the merits of allowing this protection, business method patents are here to stay. They represent the best method of protecting new and unique methods of doing business — on and off the Internet. Ronald J. Cappuccio, J.D., LL.M.(Tax) 1800 Chapel Avenue West Suite 128 Cherry Hill, NJ 08002 Phone:(856) 665-2121      Fax: (856) 665-9005 Email:
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