Monday, November 3, 2014

The Supreme Court's "alice decision" is having a marked impact on software patents, NPEs and litigation  Alice corporation owned four patents for electronic methods and computer programs for financial-trading systems on which trades between two parties who are to exchange payment are settled by a third party in ways that reduce settlement risk.  (  CLS Bank International began to use similar technology in 2002 and Alice notified CLS of its likely infringement.  In 2007, CLS sued Alice seeking a declaratory judgement that Alice's patents were invalid.  The Court, DC District Court, declared each of Alice's four patents invalid because the clains concerned abstract ideas which are not eligible for patent protection.  The court followed Bilski v Kappos 2010 precedent.

Alice appealed and the US Appeals Court for the Federal District  reversed the lower court in 2012.  This year (2014) the Supreme Court reversed the Appeals Court, citing the patents were invalid because the claims were drawn to an abstract idea and implementing those claims on a computer was not enough to transform that idea to a patentable invention.  Hence, this assessment

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