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Lawyers Weigh In On High Court’s Software Patent Ruling

Law360 quoted Robert Brunelli on the Supreme Court’s much anticipated decision in Alice v. CLS Bank.

“In a unanimous, but patently (pun intended) irrational decision, the Court held that patent claims drawn to a particular method of mitigating settlement risk which is implement on general purpose computer hardware through specifically configured software are patent ineligible under 35 USC § 101.

The Court’s decision never once used the word “software,” which is quite surprising since the decision will bring into question the continued validity of may claims issued in tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of software patents currently on the patent register. The decision is particularly difficult to understand since the patent statutes specifically recognize that software is patent eligible, being mentioned throughout the statute. Indeed, software is even specifically mentioned in the America Invents Act (legislation which updated the patent laws) in 2011, as being eligible for patenting. I

In the end, the impact of today’s decision will be left to the Country’s district Courts and the Federal Circuit to interpret and apply. Hopefully, they will do so narrowly and with an eye toward preserving value created by some of this country’s most companies through patent portfolios created over several decades of invention and investment”

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