Patents 101: A Prelude to Unpredictability

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Monday, Jul 1, 2013

Recently, the Federal Circuit issued a much anticipated opinion in a case involving whether claims drawn to computer-implemented inventions encompass statutory eligible subject matter under 35 U.S.C. § 101 (“§ 101”)…

The case — CLS Bank International v. Alice Corporation — was heard en banc by the Federal Circuit, meaning that the case was heard before all judges of the Court.  Because the case was heard en banc, it was anticipated that the resulting opinion would provide clarity and much needed guidance on the subject matter eligibility of computer-implemented inventions.  However, about the only thing the Judges of the Federal Circuit could agree on was that Alice Corporation’s asserted method and computer readable media claims were not directed to subject matter under § 101.  The Federal Circuit split 5-5 on whether the asserted system claims were directed to patent-eligible subject matter.