Last Friday, May 10, 2013, in CLS Bank v. Alice Corp., No. 2011-1301, the Federal Circuit (en banc) issued a very divided decision in which a majority of the court affirmed that method, computer-readable medium and system patent claims on a computer-implemented invention were not patent eligible under § 101, but there was no majority consensus on the rationale as to why those claims were not patentable subject matter. As a result, this en banc decision has no precedential value beyond the specific determination of patent eligibility for the particular claims at issue. The fractured nature of the decision—and even intimations by judges on the court—indicate that this case may be primed for Supreme Court review.
This 135-page decision has seven separate opinions, summarized below. A few top-level points may be gleaned from them: