Jenner & Block

Client Alert: US Supreme Court Narrows Patentability of Software Algorithms

The US Supreme Court this morning issued a unanimous decision in Alice v. CLS Bank Int’l, 573 U.S. __ (2014) (Thomas, J.), holding that the software algorithm invention at issue in the case was not patentable and affirming the Federal Circuit.  The Court held that the method and system “claims at issue are drawn to the abstract idea of intermediated settlement, and that merely requiring generic computer implementation fails to transform that abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.”  This decision will likely make it harder to patent and enforce claims on software algorithms.  The alert authored by Jenner & Block Partner Steven R. Trybus and Associates Michael G. Babbitt, Peter H. Hanna and Adam G. Unikowsky provides a brief background of the case and summary of the decision, as well as their preliminary analysis of the decision.