Issue: Intellectual Property
Court: U.S. Supreme Court

Term: October 2013
Oral Argument: March 31, 2014
Vote: 9-0
Opinion: Justice Thomas
Lower Court: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit

Question Presented: 
Whether claims to computer-implemented inventions -- including claims to systems and machines, processes, and items of manufacture -- are directed to patent-eligible subject matter within the meaning of 35 U.S.C. § 101 as interpreted by this Court.

RLC's Position:
The RLC joined other retailers in filing a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in support of neither party, but asking the Court to adopt a threshold test for patentability under Section 101 that computer-implementation cannot create a patentable subject matter. If implemented and as a practical matter, this threshold test will provide some relief to retailers because they will not have to spend millions of dollars and wait until all appeals are exhausted to resolve this gateway issue.

Case Outcome: 
The Court held that because the claims were drawn to a patent-ineligible abstract idea, they are not patent eligible under Section 101. The en banc Federal Circuit is affirmed.

Procedural History and Case Documents:

Please use the DOWNLOAD button below to access the RLC's Brief.


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