In CLS Bank v. Alice Corp., the Federal Circuit addressed the question of subject matter eligibility for the first time since the Supreme Court issued its decision in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories earlier this year. Many hoped that the Federal Circuit would provide clear guidance on how it would apply Prometheus when determining whether claims are ineligible under 35 U.S.C. § 101 for encompassing abstract ideas. However, the majority and dissenting opinions take vastly different approaches that seem to only further muddy the waters.
Alice Corporation ("Alice") owns several patents covering a computerized trading platform for exchanging obligations between a first and second party to eliminate settlement risk. In May 2007, CLS Bank filed suit against Alice seeking declaratory judgment that three of the patents are invalid, unenforceable, and otherwise not infringed. In August 2007, Alice filed a counterclaim alleging that CLS Bank infringes these patents. In March 2009, CLS Bank moved for summary judgment contending that the asserted claims are invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101. Alice opposed and cross moved for summary judgment.
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