Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l
In Alice Corp. Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank Int'l, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), the U.S. Supreme Court emphasized that parents would not be allowed on laws of nature, natural phenomena, and abstract ideas, because "the grant of a patent might tend to impede innovation more than it would tend to promote it, thereby thwarting the primary object of the patent laws." Id. at 2354 (quoting Mayo, 132 S. Ct. at 1293). But Supreme Court has cautioned about the need to "tread carefully in construing this exclusionary principle lest it swallow all of patent law." 134 S. Ct. at 2354. The Court held that "[a]pplications of [abstract] concepts to a new and useful end ... remain eligible for patent protection." Id. (internal quotations omitted).
First, a court must "determine whether the claims at issue are directed to one of those patent-ineligible concepts." Id. If the claim is for a patent-ineligible abstract idea, the court then must "consider the elements of each claim both individually and as an ordered combination to determine whether the [elements in addition to the abstract idea] transform the nature of the claim into a patent-eligible application." Id. As part of this step, the court "must examine the elements of the claim to determine whether it contains an inventive concept sufficient to transform the claimed abstract idea into a patent-eligible application." Id. at 2357.
- Mayo Collaborative Servs. v. Prometheus Labs., 566 U.S. 66 (2012)