US Supreme Court Rules in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International Case Regarding Software Patentability


The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled in the anxiously awaited Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International case (13-298). The issue in this case was whether a computerized system, method, and computer-readable medium for intermediated settlement of financial transactions was a patentable invention. The Court ruled unanimously that it is not.

Many observers have looked upon this case as a potential threat to the patentability of software since the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued its en banc decision. The U.S. Supreme Court first found that the intermediated settlement concept is an abstract idea, which is excluded from patent eligibility under 35 USC §101 of the patent code, and “a fundamental economic practice long prevalent in our system of commerce.” The Court then considered whether the claimed computer implementation, either in its individual functions or the combination of functions, contained an “inventive concept” sufficient to transform the claimed abstract idea into a patent-eligible application. The examples provided with respect to a sufficient invention concept were an improvement in the functioning of the computer itself or an improvement in any other technology or technical field. Here, the Court found each of the claimed computer functions to be well-understood, routine and conventional activities previously known in the industry, and that the ordered combination of the functions added nothing to the functions as considered separately.

Please see full alert below for more information.

LOADING PDF: If there are any problems, click here to download the file.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

© Lane Powell PC | Attorney Advertising

Written by:


Lane Powell PC on:

Popular Topics
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:

Sign up to create your digest using LinkedIn*

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.

Already signed up? Log in here

*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.