Patent Eligibility after Alice v. CLS Bank

The U.S. Supreme Court recently issued its decision in Alice v. CLS Bank regarding the patentability of computer-implemented financial and other business methods.  The Court held that patents that attempt to claim simply an “abstract idea” implemented on a general purpose computer are not valid.  Although this is not actually a change in the law, it is a clarification of this evolving area of patent law.  And based on the sudden harsh treatment of computer-implemented method patent claims by both the Patent Office and the courts, combined with the current lack of guidance given to patent examiners for examining such claims, patent owners should not only address the claims of their currently pending applications, but they should also strongly consider revisiting their granted patents in this area for possibly reissuing those patents with revised claims in order to preempt potential challenges to their patents under the Alice decision.

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