Wednesday, February 13, 2013

CLS Bank v Alice case to be heard en banc

From a Kenyon & Kenyon newsletter:

Patent-eligibility of inventions implemented by computers: CLS Bank v. Alice Corp
The district court had held that the invention, which related to methods and systems for exchanging financial obligations between parties, was an abstract idea—ineligible for patent protection under 35 U.S.C. § 101. A Federal Circuit panel disagreed, holding that the claimed invention complies with § 101 of the patent code. En banc, the Federal Circuit will address two issues:
I. What test should the court adopt to determine whether a computer implemented invention is a patent ineligible “abstract idea;” and when, if ever, does the presence of a computer in a claim lend patent eligibility to an otherwise patent-ineligible idea?
II. In assessing patent eligibility under 35 U.S.C. § 101 of a computer implemented invention, should it matter whether the invention is claimed as a method, system, or storage medium; and should such claims at times be considered equivalent for § 101 purposes?
Given the large number of software patents that issue each year, this decision could significantly impact numerous litigations, licensing negotiations, and prosecution practices.

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