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In the newest installment of my column for the Hoover Institution’s Defining Ideas, I look at Alice Corporation vs. CLS Bank International, a case that went before the Supreme Court for oral argument yesterday.
The case turns on the question of whether a computing method used in electronic funds transfers is patentable, a query ripe for a clear answer, given that a 10-judge panel on the Federal Circuit produced seven different opinions on the matter. Critics such as Professor Robin Feldman and the New York Times editorial board have argued that the practice is too abstract to deserve intellectual property protection. I have a different take, as I note in the piece: