Once considered a taboo subject matter of patent law, Automated Business Methods (or ABMs) are now accepted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and U.S. courts. ABMs, business methods that once were manually completed but are now automated, are used by some of the largest businesses operating on the Internet, known generally as “electronic-commerce” or “e-commerce.”
Kirsch, G. The Software and E-Commerce Patent Revolution. [Online, 2004.] Gigalaw.com Website. http://www.gigalaw.com/articles/2000-all/kirsch-2000-01-all .html.