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

By on June 20, 2014


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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.