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Baker Botts Lawyers Comment on Upcoming Patent Eligibility Cases Post-Alice

Media Alert
WASHINGTON, September 29, 2016 - The patent industry is awaiting a number of patent eligibility decisions from the Supreme Court and Federal Circuit over the coming weeks and months that will significantly impact the rights of patent holders post-Alice. Baker Botts Intellectual Property partners B.C. Boren, Christa Brown-Sanford and David Weaver provide comments on patent eligibility challenges amid a changing law landscape in the aftermath of Alice

“The Federal Circuit continues to define the contours of Section 101 challenges to patent eligibility in the wake of Alice,” said B.C. Boren, Baker Botts partner and chair of the IP/Technology Litigation practice group in the firm’s Palo Alto office. “We expect more decisions out of the Federal Circuit in the next few months, but if holdings vary from panel to panel, we may well see additional guidance from the Supreme Court on the subject in the next year or two.” 

“As those in the industry are aware, the US patent eligibility doctrine was upended by the Supreme Court’s Alice v CLS Bank case, which applied the two-step Mayo v Prometheus test to computer-related inventions,” said Christa Brown-Sanford, Intellectual Property partner in the firm’s Dallas office. “We’re seeing that the US courts and the USPTO continue to apply Alice differently, so it will be interesting to see the approaches the courts will take in the upcoming cases with regard to computer-related technology, and software in particular.” 

“Given the recent changes in the patent law landscape, patent holders and patent practitioners are left uncertain about issues that have a major impact on the value and viability of patents,” said David Weaver, Intellectual Property partner in the firm’s Austin office. “One of the notable rulings causing uncertainty about patentable subject matter is the Supreme Court’s opinion in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank. Several upcoming cases in the Federal Circuit on 101 law present the Court with opportunities to further clarify the definition of ‘abstract ideas’ and the scope of patentable subject matter.” 


Baker Botts is an international law firm of approximately 650 lawyers practicing throughout a network of offices around the globe. Based on our experience and knowledge of our clients' industries, we are recognized as a leading firm in the energy, technology, and life sciences sectors. Since 1840, we have provided creative and effective legal solutions for our clients while demonstrating an unrelenting commitment to excellence. For more information, please visit

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