“Federal Circuit Finds Software Invention Eligible for Patenting”
On May 12, 2016 in Enfish, LLC v. Microsoft Corporation, No. 2015-1244 (Fed. Cir. May 12, 2016), the Federal Circuit issued a notable opinion finding a software invention patent eligible. Finding a software patent to be patent eligible may not have been notable two years ago, but in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, 134 S. Ct. 2347 (2014), an alarming percentage of software patents have been invalidated, and rejections at the Patent and Trademark Office have become the new norm. In fact, since Alice, Enfish is only the second decision of the Federal Circuit where a patent survived a subject matter eligibility challenge.
This Stroock Special Bulletin discusses the Enfish decision, which practitioners seem to agree provides much needed clarity on the legal standard for patent eligibility, and which some view as an indication of the pendulum starting to swing back towards increasing patent protection for software inventions.