When the U.S. Supreme Court issues an opinion with potentially profound ramifications for software patents in the U.S., you can count on the decision receiving massive coverage in the legal, technical, financial, and even mainstream press. When the shorthand reference to the case involved is “Alice,” you can count on plenty of jokes and (dated) pop culture references.
The most comprehensive analysis on the Internet likely can be found at SCOTUSblog, which has a symposium on the Alice decision. Former Director of the Patent and Trademark Office David Kappos argues that the decision ultimately places software patents on even firmer ground. Meanwhile, Rebecca Eisenberg observes that the Court seems to have conflated “the issue of patent eligibility with the distinct issue of patent worthiness.” John Duffy takes the position that the new decision “does little to change, or even to clarify, pre-existing law.” Justin Nelson views the decision as affirming the status quo. Robert Merges alludes to Douglas Adams when he says, “[w]e have met our ’42,’ and its name is Alice.”
Outside of the legal press, Wired calls the decision a “major blow to patent trolls.” Elsewhere, Ars Technica enthuses about the Supreme Court’s ‘patent smashing.’ Vox attempts to explain what the decision means in seven points.
The title for most amusing yet apt metaphor has to go to David at PatentlyO, who asks “Which side of the mushroom did Alice eat from?” For most patent geeks, the most important analysis may very well be that provided by Donald Chisum in a note shared at PatentlyO, who may have found in the decision “enough to lead us toward an oasis in the desert.”
Of course, we will simply have to wait for the most important analyses of the Alice decision, which will come from the Patent Office, the district courts, the Federal Circuit, and ultimately perhaps the Supreme Court.