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On May 10, the Federal Circuit issued its en banc decision in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp. addressing the patentability of software claims issued to Alice Corp. The 10-judge panel issued seven separate opinions, able to agree on only a single paragraph per curium decision. Although a majority of the court agreed that certain of the patent claims were not patent eligible, no majority of judges agreed on a rationale for that conclusion. As a result, no portion of any opinion beyond the judgment constitutes precedent of the court. Indeed, in Judge Randall Rader’s separate, concurring-in-part and dissenting-in-part opinion, he noted that “though much is published today discussing the proper approach to the patent eligibility inquiry, nothing said today beyond our judgment has the weight of precedent.” The court was evenly divided and “irreconcilably fractured” when addressing the standard for patent eligibility of computerized system claims.

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