In what could be seen as a victory for doers, and a bit of a setback for thinkers, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has made a rather significant ruling on what is and isn’t patentable.

The court ruled against a man who was attempting to patent “a method for hedging against weather-related effects on businesses.” As a result, infamous patents like Amazon’s “one-click” shopping concept may no longer be valid, because they don’t either “involve a particular machine” or “physically transform anything.”

In essence, the ruling means that business ideas in and of themselves aren’t patentable.

In addition to Amazon’s “one-click” patent, which is the concept of purchasing something via credit card by just clicking a single website link, Friendster’s patents on social networking also come to mind as being unpatentable based on this judgement.

That patent covers a “system, method and apparatus for connecting users in an online computer system based on their relationships within social networks” and a “method of inducing content uploads in a social network,” amongst other claims.

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