"I know you want me to explain what the recent Bilski decision [PDF] means, because you are writing to me. I've shown you some of the apoplectic reactions from the patent bar. But what does it mean to us, to FOSS? First, in a simplified nutshell, here is what Bilski means to everyone: You can't get patents any more on a pure mental process. You can no longer patent a process that you can think through all in your mind. In other words, abstract ideas are not patentable. There has to be either a particular machine or a transformation in the process. So pure "ideas" or "mental processes" are over. That means most business methods patents are no longer valid because they are outside the parameters of what is eligible for patenting."