In the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent Alice decision, the U.S. Patent Office cautioned its examiners that the case “neither creates a per se excluded category of subject matter, such as software . . . , nor imposes any special requirements for [the] eligibility of software.” However, this instruction was not sufficient to stop a flood of subject matter eligibility rejections, under the Alice framework, directed toward software and computer-implemented applications. Joining that flood is “a wave of decisions finding software patents ineligible.” California Institute of Technology v. Hughes Communications, Inc., No. 2:13-cv-7245, (C.D. Cal. Nov. 3, 2014).
Practitioners and Inventors alike are left to wonder what the future holds for the patent eligibility of software and computer-implemented inventions. The purpose of this blog is to keep its readers abreast of patent law developments in this area as the uncertain future unfolds.