Justices Can Finally Set Clear Rules For Software Patents

Law360, New York (March 20, 2014, 8:30 PM EDT) -- Years of conflicting Federal Circuit decisions have left attorneys baffled about when inventions implemented using a computer are eligible for a patent, but the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to finally settle the issue after it hears a case this month over financial software.

The case set for argument March 31 over the eligibility of Alice Corp.'s patents on a computerized method of reducing risk in financial trading presents the court with an ideal opportunity resolve a simmering debate over whether abstract concepts can be eligible for a patent if they are performed using a computer, attorneys say.

The Federal Circuit's...

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