The Federal Circuit’s Decision in CLS Bank v. Alice Corporation: Abstraction Must Be Manifestly Evident To Hold A Patent Ineligible And Invalid Under 35 U.S.C. 101

Fitzpatrick Case Update
July 9, 2012

On July 9, 2012, in a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled that 35 U.S.C. § 101 does not preclude one from obtaining patents directed to computer-implemented methods, systems and products, unless it is “manifestly evident” that they cover an abstract idea; that is, “the single most reasonable understanding is that a claim is directed to nothing more than a fundamental truth or disembodied concept, with no limitations in the claim attaching that idea to a specific application.” This ruling reversed the district court’s decision on summary judgment that had invalidated four such patents owned by Alice Corporation.

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