USPTO’s Application of ‘Alice v CLS Bank’

August 2014

This Monday the USPTO’s guest blogger was USPTO Commissioner for Patents, Peggy Focarin.  The post talks about how the USPTO is implementing the US Supreme Court decision in Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International, et al. (Alice Corp.).  You can read Susan Keston’s HGF Update on the Alice case here.

 Peggy Focarin discusses the controversial decision taken by the USPTO to withdraw Notices of allowance on some cases in light of the Alice decision.   “We withdrew notice of allowances for some of these applications due to the presence of at least one claim having an abstract idea and no more than a generic computer to perform generic computer functions. After withdrawal, the applications were returned to the originally assigned examiner for further prosecution.”

It is not clear if the withdrawn Notices of allowance relate to pure business methods rather than computer programs in general, but it will be interesting to see how the USPTO’s interpretation and implementation of Alice develops in the coming months.