Patents on Legal Methods? No Way!

4 Pages Posted: 19 Jun 2013

Date Written: February 14, 2007


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.

Keywords: Patent, Law, Legal, Patentability, Tax, Poison Pill

JEL Classification: K00, K11, K2, K20, K99, K34, K29, O3, O31, O34

Suggested Citation

Schwartz, Andrew A., Patents on Legal Methods? No Way! (February 14, 2007). Columbia Law Review Sidebar, Vol. 107, Pages 1-3, 2007, U of Colorado Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 13-9, Available at SSRN:

Andrew A. Schwartz (Contact Author)

University of Colorado Law School ( email )

401 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309
United States

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