Long-Awaited Patent Ruling Yields Few Answers

A federal appeals court on Friday offered its long-awaited view on when a piece of software can be patented. The upshot: seven opinions, totaling more than 120 pages, and no clear answer.

While a majority of the 10-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit agreed that some of the patent claims in question were invalid, no more than five judges agreed on the legal rationale leading to that conclusion. The judges divided 5-5 on other claims.

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