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March 2014: Help sought summarising Alice v. CLS Bank amicus briefs

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US Supreme Court

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The US Supreme Court is the highest court in the USA.

Contents

[edit] Some important cases

Cases treating the most important topic, patentable subject matter:

Case Year Ruling Hearing Briefs Wikipedia
Alice v. CLS Bank 2014 pending transcript Briefs Wikipedia
Molecular v. Myriad 2013 ruling transcript - Wikipedia
Mayo v. Prometheus 2012 ruling transcript - Wikipedia
Bilski v. Kappos 2009 ruling transcript Briefs Wikipedia
Diamond v. Diehr 1981 ruling [ transcript] - Wikipedia
Parker v. Flook 1978 ruling [ transcript] - Wikipedia
Gottschalk v. Benson 1972 ruling [ transcript] - Wikipedia

For a complete list of pages on this wiki on the Court's rulings see:

[edit] The judges

The current judges are (as of July 2012):

[edit] Crude analyses

Some suggest that conservative judges are more pro-swpat than the liberals.[1] This is very crude, but for what it's worth, one metric classifies the judges in a spectrum based on how conservative or liberal they are, with the four conservative judges slightly spread out, then Kennedy, then the four liberal judges bunched together with very similar scores:[2][3]

  • Thomas
  • Scalia
  • Alito
  • Roberts
  • Kennedy
  • Breyer
  • Kagan
  • Sotomayer
  • Ginsburg

[edit] Noteworthy ex-judges

[edit] Suitability for deciding policy questions

Former Chief Judge of the CAFC, Paul Redmond Michel had this to say about the Supreme Court's suitability for interpreting article 101 of the US Code which defines patentable subject matter:[4]

Take Bilski on 101. Nine Supreme Court justices, eight of them had never seen a 101 issue before in their entire time on the Supreme Court. Only Justice Stevens had ever seen a 101 issue before. Well, that shows the problem right there. The Federal Circuit has every issue under the sun come up again and again and again, month after month, year after year. So it has intense exposure to all these different issues and the interplay among all these different sections, and the Supreme Court doesn’t. And, frankly, I think the Supreme Court has often been misled by lawyers. For example, in eBay the Supreme Court was told that we had an “automatic” injunction rule, which was never the case. It was just absolutely false. In the KSR they were told that we had a “rigid” rule that didn’t allow any judgment, which was never the case. So in addition to their inexperience and unfamiliarity with patent law, they’re subject to being manipulated and misinformed by overstated claims by some advocates and they aren’t maybe as well equipped as Federal Circuit judges might be to know that the claim is baloney

Of course, the problems of the CAFC can be seen in cases like CLS Bank v. Alice (2012, USA), where the CAFC was so splintered that there was finally no majority opinion other than a single line saying they reject the patent.

[edit] Checking for new opinions

If there's an interesting case, the front page of http://www.supremecourtus.gov/ shows the court's calendar. Opinions are usually published on Non-argument Days. Sometimes opinions are published the day after a non-argument day, especially if there are a lot of opinions to publish. The opinions are published at around 10am local time and are put immediately on-line here:

[edit] Related pages on en.swpat.org

[edit] External links

[edit] References

  1. "Supreme Court skeptical of computer-based patents". http://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2014/03/31/supreme-court-patent-software-business/7112959/. "The court's conservative justices were more supportive of the patent. Justice Antonin Scalia wondered why implementing an abstract idea on a computer wasn't enough to justify patent protection." 
  2. http://mqscores.wustl.edu/measures.php
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Graph_of_Martin-Quinn_Scores_of_Supreme_Court_Justices_1937-Now.png
  4. http://ipwatchdog.com/2010/10/24/chief-judge-michel-interview-sequel-part-2/


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