The U.S. Supreme Court made it easier to challenge patents for failing to introduce genuine innovations, siding with Intel Corp. and Cisco Systems Inc. and dealing a setback to the drug and biotechnology industries.
The justices today unanimously overturned a decades-old test used by the lower court that handles patent appeals, saying the lower court went too far to shield patents from legal attack.
The decision extends a Supreme Court trend that has put new limits on patent rights. In today's case, the justices heeded arguments from large computer companies and automakers that the lower court test, which centered on the requirement that an invention be "non-obvious," had given too much power to developers of trivial technological improvements.
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