Retracing 'Mental Steps' To Software Patent Eligibility
Law360, New York (October 02, 2013, 5:20 PM) - The patent bar and tech industry have debated for years whether software should be eligible for patent protection. The Federal Circuit appeared poised to resolve this issue when it agreed to hear CLS Bank v Alice Corp. in an en banc panel of 10 judges. In granting en banc review, the court asked what test it should adopt to determine whether a computer-implemented invention is simply an "abstract idea," and therefore ineligible for patent protection. In its decision, however, the judges could not agree on the proper analysis. Seven of the 10 judges agreed that the patented method was ineligible; but the judges split evenly, five apiece, on whether the patented computer system was eligible.