US Supreme Court – Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International

March 2014

Today the US Supreme Court is scheduled to hear oral arguments in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, an important case which could have significant implications for the software industry.  This case looks at the controversial question of how the patentability of software and business methods in the US should be assessed in view of the judicial exception of “abstract ideas” from statutory categories eligible for patenting.  A central question will be on providing an explanation of the “abstract idea” test which was set out in an earlier US case “Bilski”.  The case is being avidly watched with over 50 amicus briefs having been filed in respect of the case; from the parties themselves, as well as other multi-national corporations, respected authors on the subject matter and even the US Solicitor General.  The eagerly-anticipated judgement is expected in June, when we will report further.