writes "The Supreme Court agreed today to hear the case of Alice Corporation Pty. Ltd. v. CLS Bank International to help establish clearer guidelines on what may be patented in software. The case involves Alice Corporation who holds four patents originating in the 1990s of which was for "a computerized system for creating and exchanging financial instruments such as derivatives." These patents were challenged by CLS Bank International in 2007. The district court ruled summarily for CLS in that none of patents were valid. The Federal Circuit initially reversed the lower court; however, the full panel (en banc) voted (7 out of 10) to affirm the district court but also issued 5 separate concurring and dissenting opinions.
This confusion was noted by the Electronic Frontier Foundation in its amicus brief:
" . . . the Federal Circuit has failed to implement a workable standard—or, frankly, any standard at all—as to what computer- and Internet-implemented inventions are patentable. The resulting legal instability has driven up the already-ballooning costs of patent litigation . . ."
In my opinion, it appears that main patent simply added "on the computer" to an existing process, namely in an business transaction between two parties, there is a third party that ensures that payment is made and is facilitated. The computer made the transaction faster and more automated as noted by Judge Lourie in his opinion.
“simply appending generic computer functionality to lend speed or efficiency to the performance of an otherwise abstract concept does not meaningfully limit claim scope for purposes of patent eligibility.
"Link to Original Source