Could Court Decision on Method Patents Matter to Online Ad Industry?

The online ad industry has grown and thrived, in part, some would argue, with the help of business method patents. All sorts of ad tech firms have filed for or received patents on methods for doing all sorts of media and ad-related stuff. But business method patents are controversial and sometimes disputed.

Now, the Supreme Court is considering expansion of patent protections for business methods (think Amazon’s one-click purchase system, or ad serving and targeting technologies). According to a Wall Street Journal story, “The high court said it would hear an appeal by two inventors who were seeking to patent a method for hedging weather-based risk in commodities trading. A federal appellate court ruled last year that the method was too abstract to be patented.”

The Court was meant to hear the appeal today.

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