Supreme Court Will Attempt to Clean Up Patent Mess


The U.S. Supreme Court announced that it will reevaluate whether computer software is eligible to be protected by patent law, especially if said patents allow some tech companies to maintain a monopoly over certain kinds of software.

“Renewing its recent fascination with the kinds of inventions that can be patented, the Supreme Court on Friday agreed to clarify when an analytical method implemented by a computer or by a link on the Internet is eligible for monopoly protection,” read a statement on the Supreme Court’s blog.

The major question is whether computer code can make something like math equations, which are not patentable, eligible for patent protection. For a long time, patent law has considered an abstract idea to be ineligible for patent protection, but new technology has made the line quite blurry, and courts are left trying to decide where to draw the line between a math equation that cannot be protected by a patent and a line of code that makes a software program unique and therefore should be granted patent protection.