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Lawyers Weigh In On High Court's Software Patent Ruling

June 19, 2014

​Fenwick & West patent partner Stuart Meyer was quoted in Bloomberg BNA, Law360 and National Law Journal articles discussing the recent Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International.  Meyer also posted an article on the case, on the EE Times blog site.

In Alice Corp. the Supreme Court ruled that some computer-related innovations are too abstract for patent protection. This unanimous decision did not deny patent protection to all software, and according to Meyer, leaves many questions unanswered.

Meyer told The National Law Journal, “The court gave virtually no guidance as to how one could tell what qualifies as an ‘abstract idea.’ Accordingly, the potential impact of this case on other software patents is large, but significant further litigation will be needed before we see the contours of what is considered ‘abstract’ by courts.”

In his EE Times post, Meyer commented, “Once again, the court gave virtually no guidance as to how one could tell what qualifies as an ‘abstract idea.’ The opinion simply used qualitative terms such as ‘concept,’ ‘fundamental,’ and ‘building block’ to reach the conclusion that the claims here were drawn to an abstract idea.”

He summarized his thoughts on the decision by saying to Law360, “We are all left wondering how anyone is supposed to undertake this analysis.”

The full articles are available through the Bloomberg BNA, Law360 (subscription required) and National Law Journal (subscription required) websites and through the EE Times blog site.