Columbia Law Review Sidebar
Andrew A. Schwartz, Patents on Legal Methods? No Way!, 107 Colum. L. Rev. Sidebar 1 (2007), available at http://scholar.law.colorado.edu/articles/459.
An “invention,” as used in the United States patent laws, refers to anything made by man that employs or harnesses a law of nature or a naturally occurring substance for human benefit. A watermill, for instance, harnesses the power of gravity to run machinery. But legal methods, such as tax strategies, are not inventions in this sense, because they employ “laws of man” — not laws of nature to produce a useful result.
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