There’s good news for patent owners in the U.S.: more patents are surviving validity challenges decided under the Supreme Court’s 2014 Alice decision. According to a recent study (subscription required), district courts are now more likely to decide that the patent owners possess a valid patent than they were in the first year or so after the Supreme Court’s decision, which addressed patentability of abstract ideas.
One theory for the increased strength of patents in court is that more recent cases involve patents that were written after the Alice decision and therefore were designed to withstand attacks under Alice. This suggests that investing in preparation of patents designed to address validity issues is paying off for patent owners, resulting in stronger patents.
If this trend continues, it is likely to have a positive effect on patent valuations and on the ability of patents to have their intended deterrent effect on would-be infringers.
This development is consistent with what we have seen while prosecuting patent applications in the Patent Office since the Alice case was decided in 2014. Overall the number of Alice-based rejections has declined and the ability to overcome such rejections has increased significantly.
We stay on top of all Alice-related developments, so if you need to file a software patent or need help with a software patent that is facing Alice rejections, contact us for assistance.