WASHINGTON — September 13, 2016 — BSA | The Software Alliance today applauded the Federal Circuit’s decision in the McRO (Planet Blue) v. Bandai Namco Games America case on patent subject matter eligibility.
“The Federal Circuit’s opinion reaffirms that software is worthy of patent protection just as any other field of technology,” said BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel. “Software is a major component of today’s greatest innovations, and it is imperative that our patent system continues to encourage innovators in all fields of technology. Today’s Federal Circuit’s decision is a step in the right direction.”
The issue in McRO (Planet Blue) v. Bandai Namco Games America involved patents on software that helps video game programmers automatically synchronize 3D animated characters’ words with the movement of their lips. The legal question in the case was whether the subject matter of the patent was eligible for patent protection. In other words, for a patent to be valid it must be novel and nonobvious to prior innovations. Before answering these questions, the patent must be found to cover subject matter that has been deemed eligible of patent protection. The Federal Circuit held that the patent in this case meets the threshold for patent eligibility. BSA filed an amicus brief in the Federal Circuit arguing that the Federal Circuit should hold, as it did, that the invention is patent-eligible.