In part one of this series, Greg Winsky, of counsel at Archer & Greiner, discussed with us the upcoming Supreme Court case Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International and how that case will address an issue that has long been ignored by the highest court in the land: software patents. In part two, we’ll look at how software patents differ from other types, and what impact the ruling could have on the industry.
One of the biggest issues with software patents, says Winsky, is that there has been a general pronouncement against abstract ideas becoming patentable, like natural phenomena. The patents in the Alice case are quite simple. For example, one covers a process of exchanging financial obligation between parties and involves just four simple steps. It is something that banks do all the time, but throw in a microprocessor, and the patent office views things differently.