“The claims at issue amount to ‘nothing significantly more’ than an instruction to apply the abstract idea of intermediated settlement using some unspecified, generic computer, [ ] Under our precedents, that is not ‘enough’ to transform an abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention.”
The representative method claim in this case recites the following steps: (1) “creating” shadow records for each counterparty to a transaction; (2) “obtaining” start–of-day balances based on the parties’ real-world accounts at exchange institutions; (3) “adjusting” the shadow records as transactions are entered, allowing only those transactions for which the parties have sufficient resources; and (4) issuing irrevocable end-of-day instructions to the exchange institutions to carry out the permitted transactions. [ ] Petitioner principally contends that the claims are patent eligible because these steps “require a substantial and meaningful role for the computer.” [ ] As stipulated the claimed method requires the use of a computer to create electronic records, track multiple transactions, and issue simultaneous instructions; in other words, “[t]he computer is itself the intermediary.” [ ]
In light of the foregoing, [ ] the relevant question is whether the claims here do more than simply instruct the practitioner to implement the abstract idea of intermediated settlement on a generic computer. They do not.
Justice Thomas delivered the opinion for the unanimous court. Justice Sotomayor filed a concurring opinion in which J. Ginsburg and J. Breyer, joined. Opinion: 2014-06-19 Alice Corp. v. CLS