Patent Registrar: Business methods cannot be patented

The patent application was rejected because it did not exist in any field of technology nor had any industrial use.

In a precedent-setting decision in Israel, Patent Registrar Dr. Meir Noam has ruled that business methods cannot be patented. He said that while the US Patent Office grants patents for business methods, this was because US patent law permits it. He therefore rejected a patent application for a sales promotion method for products and services based on the issue and sale of coupons.

The method involved the sale of coupons to the public for money. Buyers could use the coupons to purchase goods from participating vendors. At each purchase, the buyer gets a predetermined discount, and the value of the coupon is reduced proportionally to the amount of the discount, until the coupon is used up. The system organizing the coupons method receives money for them, thereby promoting the business of the participants in the program.

The initial application filed by Eli Tamir was rejected on the grounds that it was not valid for registering as a patent because it did not exist in any field of technology nor have any industrial use. In addition, the claim was based on an administrative or financial character, not technology.

Noam said the definition of invention had been greatly broadened in recent years for the purpose of patent registration. In 1999, in order to comply with TRIPS - Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property rightS, to which Israel is a signatory, the definition of invention was broadened from inventions in industry or agriculture to inventions in any field of technology. For example, a new method of high-speed English language teaching cannot be patented because it is not a field of technology.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - - on October 24, 2006

Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2006

View comments in rows
Update by email about comments talkback
Your name
Please insert your name
Hyperlink in a new window Hyperlink Right Left underline italic bold Bulleted List Ordered List Face1 Face2 Face3 Face4 Face5 Face6
Your comment

You comment was recieved and soon will be published.
In posting comments, I agree to abide by the Terms of Use
Globes encourages lively and frank debate, but posts that the editors consider merely abusive or otherwise inappropriate will be removed. Report inappropriate content
Thank you for posting your comment, which will be reviewed for publication.
Loading Comments...load
Load more comments

Twitter Facebook Linkedin RSS Newsletters Capital  Markets Conference 2017