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Curbs on business-method claims would be a dramatic about-face, because it was the federal circuit itself that introduced such patents with is 1998 decision in the so-called state Street Bank case, approving a patent on a way of pooling mutual-fund assets. That ruling produced an explosion in business-method patent filings, initially by emerging internet companies trying to stake out exclusive rights to specific types of online transactions. Later, move established companies raced to add such patents to their files, if only as a defensive move against rivals that might beat them to the punch. In 2005, IBM noted in a court filing that it had been issued more than 300 business-method patents despite the fact that it questioned the legal basis for granting them. Similarly, some Wall Street investment films armed themselves with patents for financial products, even as they took positions in court cases opposing the practice.

28. The word “about-face” (Line 1, Para 3) most probably means

[A] loss of good will

[B] increase of hostility

[C] change of attitude

[D] enhancement of dignity