On May 10, 2013, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, sitting en banc, issued a highly divided decision in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp.1 Although a majority of the court affirmed the invalidity of the computer-related patent at issue (finding the claims not covering patentable subject matter under 35 U.S.C. Section 101), it could not agree on reasoning, instead providing seven different views as to why the invalidated claims were not patent eligible. What then is the impact of CLS Bank? On its face, and because of its divided nature, the decision likely has no precedential value beyond the claims at issue. It is possible, however, perhaps even likely, that the Supreme Court will accept certiorari from the Federal Circuit decision, given the questions the decision leaves unanswered, and the evident fractures within the Federal Circuit on this issue. While many hoped that the en banc decision would clarify the "murky morass"2 surrounding the issue of computer-implemented inventions, as Judge Pauline Newman commented in her dissent, the court's "remedial effort has failed."
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