In 'On The Internet' Patent Case, SCOTUS Gives CAFC 3rd Chance To Get It Right
from the try,-try-again dept
In 2012, following the Supreme Court's ruling in the Prometheus Labs v. Mayo case, that found medical diagnostics unpatentable, the Supreme Court told CAFC to try again on the Ultramercial case. Given another chance to get it right, CAFC again whiffed and insisted that this was patentable subject matter. In light of the recent ruling in CLS Bank v. Alice (which relied heavily on that Mayo ruling), the Supreme Court has told CAFC to maybe try one more time to see if it might actually get it right this time around, given the new guidance in the CLS Bank ruling.
In short, the Supreme Court seems to be telling CAFC: do we really need to draw a map for you here? Adding "on the internet" doesn't make something patentable. Now, the remaining question is whether or not CAFC will finally get that message.
Separately, it's also perhaps notable that the Supreme Court declined to hear the appeal in a different ruling, the Accenture v. Guidewire patent case, in which CAFC found the patent invalid based, in large part, on the Mayo ruling and the earlier CLS Bank CAFC ruling. Basically, here was a case where CAFC (properly) rejected a patent for being ridiculously overbroad, and now the Supreme Court doesn't have any concerns with that ruling. But in the Ultramercial case, where CAFC has twice upheld an overly broad patent, the Supreme Court is telling CAFC to try, try again.