Software Is Still Patentable, With Caveats

On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued its long-awaited opinion on software and business method patents in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int’l, et al. In a unanimous opinion written by Justice Thomas, the Court held all of Alice’s claims to be ineligible for patenting. The decision tightens the standards for patent eligibility but does not eliminate software patents or computer-implemented business methods. Although the Court did not precisely define a patent-ineligible abstract idea, it did provide a clear framework for determining the patent eligibility of software-implemented inventions along with a few clues for applying the framework.

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