In what may be the first of several software patent litigation matters that are placed in a holding pattern this year, the District of Delaware has stayed a group of patent infringement cases involving software patents pending the Supreme Court’s decision in CLS Bank Int’l v. Alice Corporation Pty Ltd.
As noted in a previous IP Spotlight post, in Alice the Court will consider the question of whether patent claims covering computer-implemented inventions are directed to patent-eligible subject matter.
In the Delaware cases, collectively captioned The Money Suite Company v. 21st Century Insurance and Financial Services, the plaintiff sued several defendants for infringement of a patent relating to use of a remote computer terminal to search for financial products for quoting. At least one of the defendants argued that the patent was invalid as being directed to ineligible subject matter because using a computer to generate a quote for a financial product was merely an abstract idea.
Noting that the Supreme Court will soon address the question of whether software is patent-eligible, the Delaware court stayed the cases until the Supreme Court issues its decision in Alice.