Princeton University Library Catalog

The State of Software Patentability: A Case Study of the Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International Supreme Court Decision

Wettermann, Alexander [Browse]
Senior thesis
Matwyshyn, Andrea [Browse]
Prucnal, Paul [Browse]
Princeton University. Department of Electrical Engineering [Browse]
Class year:
45 pages
Summary note:
The Alice v. CLS Bank Supreme Court case redefined the nature of software patentability by administering new terms of subject matter eligibility for products and processes. In an effort to address the issues surrounding software patents, the Supreme Court unintentionally placed overarching limitations on the patentability of abstract ideas. This paper seeks to illustrate how Alice changed the realm of software patents in its effort to solve problems posed by pre-Alice case law and patents alike. However, in this pursuit Alice ultimately ended up creating more questions than it answered. Thus, post-Alice case law will be examined to shed light on the shortcomings of Alice that have been acknowledged, and to emphasize the disparities of Alice that have been left up to interpretation. In an effort to formally address complications that have arisen as a result of Alice, patents issued before the Alice decision will be evaluated in light of an extension to the new subject matter eligibility test – which was created and defined in this paper. By assessing the eligibility of software patents issued in the pre-Alice domain, this paper hopes to outline where the Supreme Court went wrong in restricting software patentability as whole.