Much Anticipated Federal Circuit En Banc Decision on Patentable Subject Matter Leaves Many Questions Unresolved

Anyone hoping for clarity on the standard for patent “eligibility” under 35 U.S.C. § 101 will be disappointed by the Federal Circuit’s recent en banc decision in CLS Bank International v. Alice Corporation (No. 2011-1301, decided May 10, 2013).  In a one-paragraph per curiam opinion, the court affirmed the district court’s holding that Alice’s patent claims are “not directed to eligible subject matter” under § 101 and are therefore not patentable.  Six separate opinions followed, none of which garnered a majority.  Alice owns four patents directed to a computerized trading platform used for conducting financial transactions in which a third party settles   Read More »

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UPDATE: Supreme Court Revisits Patentable Subject Matter in Mayo Collaborative Services v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc.

The Supreme Court has addressed the first question of patentability – whether the invention falls within the scope of patentable subject matter – for the second time in three years with its opinion in Mayo Collaborative Services, et al. v. Prometheus Laboratories, Inc., 566 U.S. ___ (2012). Through unanimous decision, the Supreme Court has provided further guidance concerning the scope of patentable subject matter with respect to claims which cover the application of natural laws.  While laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas are not patentable under 35 U.S.C. §101, an application of a law of nature to a   Read More »

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