By: Darren Crew
The United States Supreme Court recently provided additional guidance as to how claims may be analyzed, to determine whether those claims set forth patentable subject matter pursuant to 35 U.S.C. §101, regarding abstract ideas. Additionally, the United States Patent and Trademark Office recently provided new instructions to patent examiners regarding such determinations.
On June 19, 2014, in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International et al., No. 13-298, the Supreme Court held that claims under review which recite a combination of specific steps relating to financial transactions, and which require a generic computer to perform those steps, were not eligible for patent protection because such claims were directed to an abstract idea. In particular, the Supreme Court held that all the system claims and method claims under review were directed to subject matter that was an abstract idea, even though a generic computer was required by at least some of the claims. This case is discussed below. —click here to read more—