â€œLetâ€™s be clear: if all of these claims, including the system claims, are not patent-eligible, this case is the death of hundreds of thousands of patents, including all business method, financial system, and software patents as well as many computer implemented and telecommunications patents.â€
see Groklaw – Federal Circuit, en banc, rules in CLS Bank
Quoting from the ruling, ” It is also important to recognize that Â§ 101, while far-reaching, only addresses patent eligibility, not overall patentability. The statute directs that an invention that falls within one of its four enumerated categories “may” qualify for a patent; thus, inventions that are patent eligible are not necessarily patentable. As Â§ 101 itself explains, the ultimate question of patentability turns on whether, in addition to presenting a patent-eligible inven-tion, the inventor also satisfies “the conditions and requirements of this title,” namely, the novelty, nonobvi-ousness, and disclosure requirements of 35 U.S.C. Â§Â§ 102, 103, and 112, among others. See 35 U.S.C. Â§ 101.”
Of course, if a computer can “understand” a piece of software that software surely must be “obvious”… chuckle.
” The computer-based limitations recited in the system claims here cannot support any meaningful distinction from the computer-based limitations that failed to supply an “inventive concept” to the related method claims. The shadow record and transaction limitations in Alice’s method claims require “a computer,” CLS Bank, 768 F. Supp. 2d at 236, evidently capable of calculation, storage, and data exchange. The system claims are little different. They set forth the same steps for performing third-party intermediation and provide for computer implementation at an incrementally reduced, though still striking level of generality. Instead of wholly implied computer limitations, the system claims recite a handful of computer components in generic, functional terms that would encompass any device capable of performing the same ubiquitous calculation, storage, and connectivity functions required by the method claims.”
Yup. Merely needing a computer to do the thing doesn’t make it patentable. Chuckle.
” Therefore, as with the asserted method claims, 4 such limitations are not actually limiting in the sense required
under Â§ 101; they provide no significant “inventive concept.” The system claims are instead akin to stating the abstract idea of third-party intermediation and adding the words: “apply it” on a computer. See Mayo, 132 S. Ct.at 1294. That is not sufficient for patent eligibility, and the system claims before us fail to define patent-eligible subject matter under Â§ 101, just as do the method and computer-readable medium claims.”
“The question we must consider is whether a patent claim that ostensibly describes such a system on its face represents something more than an abstract idea in legal substance. Claims to computers were, and still are, eligible for patent. No question should have arisen concerning the eligibility of claims to basic computer hardware under Â§ 101 when such devices were first invented. But we are living and judging now (or at least as of the patents’ priority dates), and have before us not the patent eligibility of specific types of computers or computer components, but computers that have routinely been adapted by software consisting of abstract ideas, and claimed as such, to do all sorts of tasks that formerly were performed by humans. And the Supreme Court has told us that, while avoiding confusion between Â§ 101 and Â§Â§ 102 and 103, merely adding existing computer technology to abstract ideas–mental steps–does not as a matter of substance convert an abstract idea into a machine.”
For those unable to parse the legalese, I will paraphrase: “You can’t reinvent painting a work of art by doing it with a paint-brush.”
“We are faced with abstract methods coupled with computers adapted to perform those methods. And that is the fallacy of relying on Alappat, as the concurrence in part does. Not only has the world of technology changed, but the legal world has changed. The Supreme Court has spoken since Alappat on the question of patent eligibility, and we must take note of that change. Abstract methods do not become patent-eligible machines by being clothed in computer language. “
Isn’t that a hoot? Can you hear the patent-FUD rushing out of M$’s collapsing balloon? Can you hear the “partners” who have signed up to pay M$ per Android/Linux smart thingy calling their lawyers and accountants? Can you see the small cheap computers becoming even less expensive? I can.