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Bar News - January 16, 2009

More Substantive Law Articles in Bar News

This issue marks the launch of a new effort to provide more diverse coverage of various practice areas in Bar News, kicking off this month with Employment Law and Estate Planning. In the coming months, with the assistance of the Bar News Editorial Advisory board, the Bar News will be soliciting articles on specific practice areas identified in the following Editorial Calendar. As with any new project, changes in calendar may be made as we go forward.

Our thanks this month to Erin Hendrick Stearns, a Bar News board member, for her efforts rounding up Estate Planning articles.

If you have an interest in writing an article on a particular subject area, contact Bar News Managing Editor Beverly Rorick at The dates listed are the dates of publication. Please contact us at least one month prior to publication with article ideas.

2009 Editorial Calendar

January 19 - Employment Law; Estate Planning
February 13 - Family Law; Telecommunications, Energy and Utilities Law
March 13 - Municipal/Govt. Law; Intellectual Property Law
April 17 -  Workerís Comp Law; Tax Law
May 15 -  Environmental Law; In-House Counsel
June 12 - Immigration; Childrenís Law
July 17 -  Real Property; Bankruptcy
August 14 -  Appellate Practice; Disability Law
September 18 -  Federal Practice; ADR
October 16 -  Health Law; International Law
November 13 -  Criminal Law; Public Sector Law
December 18 -  Civil Litigation; Military Law

Upcoming in March:
Intellectual Property Law: Revisiting the Patentability of Legal Methods
From Attorney Charles Holoubek

In May 2008, Attorney Paul Remus wrote an engaging article for the Bar News examining whether legal methods, as a specific type of business method, could be patented. Remus concluded that under the Federal Circuitís landmark 1998 State Street test, requiring only "useful, concrete and tangible" results for patentability, legal methods were indeed statutory subject matter and thus patentable. Admit it; after reading Paulís article you were thinking what I was thinking: "Who needs billable hours? Iíll just get some good legal method patents and collect licensing fees from everyone elseÖ "

No more. On October 30, 2008, the Federal Circuit dropped a bombshell in its In re Bilski decision, __ F.3d __ (Fed. Cir. 2008) (en banc), by overturning State Streetís patentability rule, throwing out 10 years of case law, and, in the words of Federal Circuit Judge Newmanís dissent, potentially invalidating "thousands of patents already granted." According to Bilskiís new "particular machine or transformation" test for patentability, itís probably going to be a lot more difficult to secure a valid patent for software, biotech invention, or business method.

In the March issue, I will revisit the Bilski decision and suggest what impact it may have on your clients.

Attorney Charles Holoubek practices Intellectual Property Law at Holoubek Law, pllc in Concord.

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