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Legal Articles

U.S. Supreme Court Rules on Patent-Eligible Subject Matter
The full impact of the Alice decision will be apparent after lower courts further explore the contours of patent-eligible subject matter. On June 19, 2014, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a ruling in a prominent patent case regarding subject matter that is not eligible for patent protection. In Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International,1 Justice Thomas delivered the opinion for a unanimous Court that affirmed the Federal Circuit and held that Alice Corporation's patent claims directed to a computer-implemented scheme for mitigating settlement risk are drawn to a patent-ineligible abstract idea. The patent claims at issue in this case4 are designed to facilitate the exchange of financial obligations between parties by using a computerized intermediary. Specifically, the claims are designed to mitigate a type of risk known as settlement risk—the risk that one of the parties will not perform as it is obligated to do regarding an agreed-upon exchange.

United States | 08/26/2014


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