Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs at Microsoft blogged over the last weekend applauding the Supreme Court’s decision that abstract ideas are not eligible for patent protection in the Alice v. CLS Bank case. He claimed that court has correctly distinguished Alice’s invalid business method patents from valid patents that advance technology.
In the recent times, there are lots of discussions happening in the technology industry on whether software patents are valid. But, this court’s ruling comes in favor that software patents are valid just like any other technology patents.
The Court’s opinion follows closely the amicus brief we submitted with HP and Adobe, and recognizes that software inventions are eligible for patents, especially where they “improve the functioning of the computer itself … [or] effect an improvement in any other technology or technical field.” [p.15]
Software patents are no different than other technological or industrial inventions that are patent-eligible under Section 101. Software now powers nearly every inventive device, service and product in our world today. Virtually every industry and sector of the economy has been transformed by software. The Alice decision is an affirmation that these innovations are patent-eligible.
This ruling will preserve patent protection for software-enabled technologies that is critical to incentivizing innovation in every industry and sector of the economy.