The software industry may face difficulties maintaining certain patents if the Supreme Court upholds an appeal from a lower court. If the decision is not overturned, it would mean software companies could have a harder time defending themselves in lawsuits.
The Supreme Court previously ruled that abstract ideas and natural phenomena, such as laws of nature, cannot be patented. But where do they draw the line? Just how “abstract” is “abstract?” Items such as software and medical diagnostic testing are gray areas.
A case involving a tech company called Alice, split the U.S. Court of Appeals. Five of the panel members agreed that Alice’s ideas were not patentable because they involved “systems.” The other five members agreed with part of the argument, but not the other part. These judges called the case “potentially disruptive to the patent system.”
Get the details at USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2013/12/06/court-case-could-mean-death-of-software-patents/3894877/