The Federal Court of Canada has opened the door to software and business method patents in Canada by decisively overruling1 the decision of the Commissioner of Patents2 in Inc.’s application for its 1-Click® online ordering system.

Patent protection is now available in Canada for inventions relating to software and business methods (whether software-related or not), and there is no requirement that an invention be “technological” to be patentable. Software and business method inventions can be patented using claims directed to a machine, such as a programmed computer, and also by using process or method claims that recite some “physical effect.” For example, with the 1-Click® system, manipulation of the computer by the customer to create the order was sufficient, even without a physical change to the goods. This will permit a wide range of software and business method inventions to be patented in Canada.