Monthly Archives: September 2014

High court invalidates some business methods, leaving some uncertainty

By: William S. Parks*

Another chapter in the continuing saga of business method patents was recently added with the Supreme Court’s Alice v. CLS Bank decision. Prior decisions had given credence to the concept that adding a computer or some other type of transformative quality to a method of ostensibly handling a business-like process was sufficient for patenting purposes (or, at least to move past the threshold question of whether the claimed method met the basic patentability criteria of 35 §101). In addition, certain court opinions had appeared to establish a definition of an “abstract idea” in the patent realm. Since long-held and followed principles have refused patent protection to methods based strictly on abstract considerations, the coupling of a computer-transformative action appeared to provide a basis for inventors to move forward in this area. With Alice, however, the Supreme Court has apparently done away with this well-understood patenting basis.

The Alice decision concerned an infringement claim on several business method patents that claimed schemes for mitigating settlement risks within financial exchange agreements. Basically, the overall method concerned the Continue reading