"Today's debate over patent law generally pits pharmaceutical and traditional manufacturers against high-tech companies. Makers of long-lived products want strong patent protection to ward off copycats. They and such tech powerhouses as IBM (IBM) and Microsoft (MSFT) are backing a Senate bill even though it would reduce penalties that patent infringers might be ordered to pay. But others in the faster-paced tech sector have turned against the measure because it doesn't cap damage awards enough. Without a concerted push by business, the Senate may once again shelve action to deal with more pressing matters. […] Last spring, in a case known as Bilski, the Federal Circuit hand-picked Duffy to argue for broadly patenting business methods. The court rejected his argument in an October ruling that significantly pared back what can be patented. Now that the case is headed to the Supreme Court, Duffy says he expects to make another amicus—or friend of the court— filing."