Explanation. When the U.S. government denies us legal protection, we want to know why. Accompanying an adverse decision in the legal world, we want an explanation to support the adverse decision so we can understand how the decision was made.

The process of obtaining certain types of software patents from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) has been very frustrating over the past few years, with many applicants expending tremendous resources, walking away empty handed and not having a clear explanation of why the PTO rejected their applications. Prior to 2014, it was possible to obtain a so-called “business method patent” (a patent on a method of doing business). Then, the business method world imploded when the U.S. Supreme Court decided Alice v. CLS Bank (134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014)) and held that methods of doing business were not patent eligible. In the aftermath, many technology companies that had invested significant dollars to create computer technology found themselves caught in the Alice crosshairs, and their ability to protect their innovations disappeared as quickly as the rabbit in the storybook Alice (in Wonderland) popped down the rabbit hole.

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