Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank (Part III-B) (573 U.S. ___, 2014 June 19)

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[ABSTRACT] {1} At some level, "all inventions ... embody, use, reflect, rest upon, or apply laws of nature, natural phenomena, or abstract ideas." Id., at ___ (slip op., at 2). Thus, an invention is not rendered ineligible for patent simply because it involves an abstract concept. See Diamond v. Diehr, 450 U. S. 175, 187 (1981). "[A]pplication[s]" of such concepts " 'to a new and useful end,' " we have said, remain eligible for patent protection. Gottschalk v. Benson, 409 U. S. 63, 67 (1972).

{2} Taking the claim elements separately, the function performed by the computer at each step of the process is "[p]urely conventional". ... In short, each step does no more than require a generic computer to perform generic computer functions. ... Considered "as an ordered combination," the computer components of petitioner's method "ad[d] nothing . . . that is not already present when the steps are considered separately".

{3} The method claims do not, for example, purport to improve the functioning of the computer itself. See ibid. ("There is no specific or limiting recitation of ... improved computer technology ... "); Brief for United States as Amicus Curiae 28-30. Nor do they effect an improvement in any other technology or technical field.


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