Patentability of Business Methods: Decoding the Federal Circuit’s CLS and Bancorp Decisions

Recently, the Federal Circuit ruled on two business method patent cases – CLS Bank International v. Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. ("CLS") and Bancorp Services, LLC v. Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada (U.S.)("Bancorp").  Despite a claim of congruity by the court (both cases centered around the issue of how to determine whether a claim is directed to a patent ineligible abstract idea under 35 U.S.C. §101), the two rulings produced seemingly incongruous results. 

This Stroock Special Bulletin looks at the CLS and Bancorp decisions, and their potential impact on the patentability of business methods.