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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday tossed out an Australian company's patent for business software in a decision that clarifies standards for awarding patents, but not as much as some firms had hoped.
In a case closely watched by technology companies, justices ruled unanimously that the government should not have issued a patent to Alice Corp. in the 1990s because the company simply took an abstract idea that has been around for years and programmed it to run through a computer.
The decision makes clear that to obtain a patent, a company's idea must actually improve how a computer functions or make other technical advancements. It could also help technology firms mount a stronger defense against so-called patent trolls — companies that buy up patents and force businesses to pay license fees or face costly litigation.
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(These latest Intellectual Property (IP) news and events presented here, are prepared and compiled by us, the World Patent & Trademark Law Office (WPTO),for your reference and information)