Today the USC IP & Tech Clinic filed a brief on behalf of the Application Developers Alliance asking the Supreme Court to grant certiorari in the case of WildTangent v. Ultramercial. This is a case about whether a claim on using advertising as a substitute for currency, combined with eleven conventional steps and preformed on the internet via a “facilitator” can be eligible for patent protection. The Federal Circuit said yes. In the brief we argue that with this ill-advised decision, the Federal Circuit has immeasurably worsened critical flaws in the patent system that are already deeply affecting application developers. From the brief [pdf]:
“With this decision, the Federal Circuit has worsened critical flaws in the patent system that deeply affect application developers. Unlike other innovators, app developers work exclusively with software, and most are small businesses with little capital. As overly broad software patents have proliferated in recent years, non-practicing patent assertion entities have launched a wave of litigation and intimidation that has made it extremely difficult for many app developers to operate. The Federal Circuit’s decision in this case exacerbates these problems by adding to its deep internal divisions over the proper threshold for patent eligibility. Furthermore, by announcing an overly permissive standard for eligibility, the Federal Circuit has immeasurably worsened the patent litigation crisis for app developers and small innovators everywhere.”
UPDATE: Stamped brief here.