Supreme Court tosses out patent on financial risk software in case closely watched by industry

By on June 20, 2014


WASHINGTON—The Supreme Court has tossed out an Australian company’s patents for business software in a closely watched case that offers new guidance on the standards for awarding patents.

The justices on Thursday unanimously agreed with a lower court ruling that invalidated Alice Corp.’s patents for managing risk in financial trades.

New York-based CLS Bank International had claimed the patent simply took an idea that has been around for thousands of years and programmed it to run through a computer.

Dozens of technology firms including Google and Facebook filed briefs in the case urging the court to create clearer rules for software that can be patented.