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PTO Guidelines Distinguish Patent-Eligible Software Inventions From Mere Abstract Ideas

WASHINGTON, DC — December 15, 2014 —

BSA | The Software Alliance today welcomed interim guidance issued by the US Patent and Trademark Office to help patent inspectors determine what is eligible subject matter following the US Supreme Court’s important decision earlier this year in Alice Corporation v. CLS Bank.

“The Supreme Court made clear that true software inventions are patentable, and merely connecting an abstract idea to a computer doesn’t qualify. The guidelines that the Patent Office has issued today will put the Court’s decision into practice by helping examiners tell the difference between what is and what is not patent-eligible,” said BSA President and CEO Victoria Espinel. “I commend Director Lee and her staff at the Patent Office for moving quickly to issue this guidance. It marks an important step forward in improving how the US patent system functions to encourage continued innovation in the digital age.”

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BSA | The Software Alliance ( is the leading advocate for the global software industry before governments and in the international marketplace. Its members are among the world’s most innovative companies, creating software solutions that spark the economy and improve modern life. With headquarters in Washington, DC, and operations in more than 60 countries, BSA pioneers compliance programs that promote legal software use and advocates for public policies that foster technology innovation and drive growth in the digital economy.
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