Supreme Court releases opinion on patents

By Shannon Sweeney

20 June 2014 at 08:27 BST

The US Supreme court ruled that substance must determine patentability for an invention, not an abstract idea on a computer.

The US Supreme Court ruled that inventions need substance to determine patentability. tomertu

The United States Supreme Court has ruled that implentation on a computer does not make an invention patentable. In Alice Corp. v CLS Bank International, the court ruled that Alice Corp.'s patents were invalid. The court wrote in its opinion that in order to be patentable, the claim must do more than implement an abstract idea on a 'generic' computer. The opinion overlaps earlier decisions made by European and UK tribunals that said the substance must determine patentability, not the claims forms. 

More difficult

Mark Kenrick, patent attorney specialising in software and partner at Marks & Clerk, said : 'While much software will remain patentable, it will likely become more difficult to obtain patents for some computer-implemented business schemes. The US has, for some time now, been hardening its approach to software patentability, thereby bringing its practice more in line with European practice.'


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