One of these days... Bang! Zoom! Why technology innovators should pay attention to Alice

Courts must now define the contours of those “abstract ideas” that cannot be patented without “significantly more”

Back in the postwar era, when Ralph Kramden drove for the Gotham Bus Company in The Honeymooners, inventions enabled progress in the mechanical and chemical arts. Today, computers have largely replaced the chalkboards and drafting tables of yesterday as the principal tools of technological advances.

Over time, many patents issued from the Patent Office covered inventions whose claims required using a computer. On June 19, 2014, however, in Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd v. CLS Bank Int’l, the Supreme Court ruled that using a computer does not, standing alone, create an invention eligible for patent protection.

Contributing Author

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Matthew McFarlane

Matthew McFarlane is a trial attorney at Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P. who represents clients in a variety of intellectual property matters....

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