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Supreme Court to Consider Case on Patent Eligibility of Computer-Implemented Inventions

On December 6, 2013, the Supreme Court agreed to consider Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, a case concerning the patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions. The Court will review a split decision issued by the en banc Federal Circuit in May 2013. In that decision, seven of 10 judges concluded Alice Corporation’s claims to computer-based methods for minimizing settlement risk in financial transactions, as well as claims to computer-readable media containing program code for performing such methods, constituted patent-ineligible subject matter under § 101. The judges split evenly, however, regarding the patent eligibility of Alice’s remaining claims to computerized systems for performing such transactions. Given the stark differences of opinion expressed by members of the Federal Circuit, it was widely predicted that the Supreme Court would step in to settle the dispute. The Court’s decision could have significant implications for the computer hardware and software industries, as well as for patent eligibility standards in general.

The Supreme Court is expected to hear arguments in early 2014, and a decision is expected by the end of the term in June 2014. The case number is 13-298.



About this Author

Kevin P. Moran, Intellectual Property attorney, Michael Best, manufacturing industry legal counsel,

Clients look to Kevin for strategic counsel on the protection of their intellectual property, including acquisition of, enforcement of, and defense against United States and international patents.

His strong track record in these areas, paired with a technical background as a product engineer, give Kevin a unique perspective on the challenges facing developers of mechanical, electro-mechanical, and biomedical technologies.

Kevin has significant experience in the areas of fitness equipment, motorcycles, vehicle braking...

Richard Kaiser, Michael Best, patent prosecution lawyer, inter partes review legal counsel,

Rich has a strong track record in intellectual property law, specializing in all stages of the patenting process for mechanical arts and technologies. He helps clients build patent portfolios, avoid or invalidate competitor patents, and defend against infringement claims.

Through his extensive experience with utility and design patents, Rich has become a trusted, long-term business partner to producers and manufacturers. Rich works closely with clients, providing meaningful guidance on their U.S. and international patent strategies. Clients value his responsiveness as well as his practical and timely advice, and rely on him to manage all of their patent-related needs.