Why Patentable Subject Matter Matters for Software

George Washington Law Review Arguendo, Vol. 81, p. 1, 2012

11 Pages Posted: 8 Jul 2012 Last revised: 27 Sep 2012

See all articles by Brian J. Love

Brian J. Love

Santa Clara University School of Law

Date Written: July 7, 2012

Abstract

Increasingly, courts weary from years of arguing about the scope of patentable subject matter for software patents seem ready to throw in the towel. Rather than continue efforts to craft a test for determining when a software invention graduates from an “abstract idea” or mere algorithm into a patentable invention, several recent Federal Circuit opinions dismissinely reject section 101 challenges as attacks that should have be made instead under sections 102, 103, and 112. This short essay criticizes this recent trend in patentable subject matter jurisprudence. Accused infringers look to section 101 for relief not because doing so is a convenient shortcut around more traditional checks on patentability, but rather precisely because traditional checks on patentability have proven to be woefully ineffective weapons against overbroad software patents.

Keywords: patentable subject matter, software patents, Mayo v. Prometheus, Ultramercial v. WildTangent

JEL Classification: O34, K00, L86

Suggested Citation

Love, Brian J., Why Patentable Subject Matter Matters for Software (July 7, 2012). George Washington Law Review Arguendo, Vol. 81, p. 1, 2012. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2102134

Brian J. Love (Contact Author)

Santa Clara University School of Law ( email )

500 El Camino Real
Santa Clara, CA 95053
United States

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
236
rank
121,186
Abstract Views
2,574
PlumX