By Dennis Crouch
Today, the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in the patent subject matter eligibility case of Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International. Alice Corp.’s patent covers a computerized escrow system and method that CLS Bank allegedly uses in the process of settling trillions of dollars in transactions each week.
Whether claims to computer-implemented inventions-including claims to systems and machines, processes, and items of manufacture-are directed to patent-eligible subject matter within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 101 as interpreted by this Court?
As petitioner, the patentee (Alice Corp) will argue first. Respondent’s time will be split between CLS Bank and the US Government who has filed an amicus brief highlighting a misguided argument that “the abstract idea exception is patent law’s sole mechanism for excluding claims directed to manipulation of non-technological concepts and relationships.”
A transcript should be available in the afternoon.
See: Dennis Crouch, Software Patent Eligibility: Alice Corp v. CLS Bank on the Briefs (March 13, 2014).
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The Supreme Court is working through a number of patent related decisions this term:
- Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International (subject matter eligibility of computer implemented inventions and software). Oral arguments March 31, 2014 with decision expected June 2014.
- Teva v. Sandoz (whether a district court’s finding of fact in support of claim construction should be reviewed de novo as required by the Federal Circuit). Petition granted March 31, 2014.
- Lexmark Int’l v. Static Control (allegations of patent infringement against non-competitor can create Lanham Act claim). Decided March 25, 2014.
- Octane Fitness v. Icon Health & Fitness (proper standard for determining an “exceptional case” in the attorney fee shifting context of 35 U.S.C. §285). Oral arguments held February 26, 2014 with decision expected by June 2014.
- Highmark v. Allcare Health Mgmt. (standard of appellate review for fee shifting decisions). Oral arguments held February 26, 2014 with decision expected by June 2014.
- Nautilus v. Biosig (standard for determining when a patent claim is invalid as indefinite). Oral arguments scheduled for April 28, 2014 with decision expected in June 2014.
- Limelight v. Akamai (determining whether inducement should be severely narrowed by the no-joint-infringement doctrine). Oral arguments scheduled for April 30, 2014 with decision expected in June 2014.
- Medtronic v. Mirowski (holding that patentee has the burden of proving infringement even in declaratory judgment actions by a licensee in good standing). Decided January 22, 2014.
- Petrella v. MGM (considering the laches doctrine in the copyright context). Argued January 21, 2014, awaiting decision.
- ABC, Inc., v. Aereo, Inc (when does an internet transmission count as a “public performance” under the copyright laws?). Argument scheduled for April 22, 2014.
- POM Wonderful v. Coca-Cola (who has standing to challenge a food or beverage label as misleading or false under the Lanham Act). Argument scheduled for April 21, 2014.