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Protect Section 101. Don’t Overturn Alice.

A unanimous 2014 Supreme Court decision that restated long-established principles on Section 101 of the Patent Act gave Main Street businesses a strong tool to combat NPEs. The Court made clear that business methods on a computer aren’t patentable. Relying on Alice, lower courts can throw out meritless suits based on bad patents early, before litigation becomes too lengthy and costly, helping to keep businesses focused on job creation and growth.

The Alice Decision Has Been Far-Reaching

  • Helped make the NPE’s business model less profitable, causing abusive lawsuits to drop.
  • Promoted patent quality. The patents invalidated under Alice did not improve technology.
  • Restored balance to the patent system and supported innovation in the software industry.
  • Helped startups. VC funding for software startups was 40% higher in 2018 than it was in 2014, the year that Alice was decided.

Capstone, a small photography business that was sued by an NPE for selling event photographs online, fought back and won. The owner explains, “without the Alice decision, it is unlikely that I could have afforded the long fight necessary to invalidate the patent on other grounds.”

But Some Lawmakers Want to Overturn Alice

This would gut the protections Main Street businesses rely on to fight invalid patents, a devastating misstep that would cut jobs and other investments.

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