"Back in October of last year, for those of you not in the know, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled In re Bilski that a business method could only be patented if it was implemented on a “particular machine” or it transformed a particular article into a different state or thing. Now there are two open questions with the Bilski decision. First, will these same tests end up being applied to software patents? Based on recent rulings by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences it appears things are trending in that direction. Second, does a general purpose computer constitute a particular machine? While the court dodged that question in the Bilski ruling it appears that the US Patent & Trademark Office would prefer it the answer to that questions was no."