Courts Agree to Disagree on Software Patents.

What constitutes a patentable software program versus what is simply an abstract concept has long plagued the field of patents.  Results from recent cases in the lower courts, where six different opinions came to different conclusions,  demonstrate the ongoing confusion.

One decision held that a concept “clothed in computer language” does not meet the requirements for patent eligibility.

Another proposed that a “practical application of this idea” via software is enough to uphold a patent.

Many hope that the Supreme Court will soon set a standard for what constitutes a patentable software program.

Because of the increasing number of cases with different interpretations on the question, attorneys believe that the Supreme Court will finally be forced to set a clear standard for this contentious area of patent law.
We all know too many cooks in the kitchen spoil the broth.  So many hope this will give the Supreme Court a reason to speak with one voice as to where the line between abstract idea and patentable invention is drawn.

Patent attorneys are optimistic that this time some clarity will be cast on this issue. A clear test will help patentees and practitioners determine where an abstract concept becomes a patentable invention.

How Can I Help?

Because of the uncertainty in software patents, it is very important to carefully craft your patent application.   While the courts can only agree to disagree, until the Supreme Court sets a clear standard, a well drafted patent application still provides the best protection for your software invention.  So please contact me for a free 30 minute consultation at or call TOLL FREE at 1-855-UR IDEAS (1-855-874-3327) and ask for Norman.

– Ex astris, scientia –

I am and avid amateur astronomer and intellectual property attorney in Pasadena, California and I am a Rising Star as rated by Super Lawyers Magazine.  As a former Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy, I am a proud member of the Armed Service Committee of the Los Angeles County Bar Association working to aid all active duty and veterans in our communities. Connect with me on Google +


5 thoughts on “Courts Agree to Disagree on Software Patents.

  1. Mr. Van Treeck –

    I simply wanted to acknowledge that I enjoy reading your clever, well written blog. Also, I find it admirable that you willingly donate 30 minutes of “lawyer time” to anyone that chooses to take you up on it–it speaks highly of your character.

    Regarding Astronomy, has it ever been documented that the the sun and her nearest star neighbors formed a Star of David? Off the beaten path I know. The recent SOD formations on 7/22, 7/29, and 9/21 in our night sky made me wonder.

    Nanu Nanu

    • Thank you. Being an attorney isn’t much good if the people that need your help feel that they can’t even approach you. I think it is well worth it to make sure that everyone gets to have (and protect) their dream.

      P.S. Shazbot! I LOVE!LOVE!LOVE! The Mork and Mindy reference.

      • I’ll take you back … prepare a time warp sequence!
        (Season 1 Episode 1 – The Pilot)–L0TdY

        I will need your help –you are known throughout the universe in this field!

        Is it best to consult with you just after filing or rather after they (86071057, 86026749) have been to round 1 with the examining attorney?


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