Software Patents Finally on the Supreme Court Docket For First Time in 33 Years

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One of the reasons that software patents have run rampant over the past couple of decades is because the Federal Circuit Appeals Court—which handles all patent cases—has been effectively ignoring Supreme Court precedent. Over the past few years the Supreme Court has pushed back on this, but only around the edges in cases with fairly specialized applications. Next month, however, for the first time in 33 years, they’ll finally hear a case that explicitly gives them an opportunity to rein in the Federal Circuit and restate existing precedent that puts substantial restrictions on the ability to patent a software process.

Will they do it? Or will they shy away because it would strip billions of dollars in assets from software companies with huge patent portfolios? Tim Lee examines the possibilities here.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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