Wood Herron & Evans LLP - Intellectual Property
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October 2017 Archives

Subject Matter Eligibility and Business Methods

To be entitled to a patent, an invention must be more than just innovative, it must also be directed to subject matter that is "patent-eligible". At one time, rejections of applications as being directed to ineligible subject matter were relatively rare. However, since the Supreme Court issued the Alice decision, this requirement has taken center stage for many types of software-enabled inventions.1 Applications directed to computer implemented business methods have been hit particularly hard as the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) and United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ("Federal Circuit") struggle to determine what is patent-eligible under Alice.

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