In May this year the Court of Appeal of the Federal Circuit issued a high profile decision in the case of CLS v Alice. The court sat en banc in an attempt to bring some long hoped for clarity as to the inherent patentability of computer implemented business methods . However, in the words of Judge Newman, the judges reached "judicial deadlock". Rather than bringing any clarity, the widely varying views of the judges seemingly lead to the conclusion that the outcome of future cases may vary based upon the judges sitting on the day.
Alice, who came out on the losing side of the judicial deadlock by only a slim margin, have now unsurprisingly sought permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. Given the relatively short time between the Supreme Court decision in Bilski and the confusion of CLS v Alice it is fair to say that the Supreme Court has previously failed in its attempts to bring stability in this area. It must now be hoped that the Supreme Court will take this latest opportunity to provide certainty in this difficult area of law.