With the Supreme Court’s decision to hear arguments in Bilski vs. Doll, a case that already has set a new standard for granting patents on business methods, the ability to protect groundbreaking innovations in process and workflow will soon be determined. It seems obvious, after the case first appeared on the docket of the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, that the 12 judges called in to hear the appeal were feeling particularly creative. To the dismay of many in the patent community, the appeals court seemed to effortlessly overstep its bounds by writing into existence a new test
The market is generally healthy and steadily growing, and margins are up for large specialty contractors. Further, advances in design tools and owner demand for collaboration are giving subcontractors a seat at the table early on in projects.