U.S. Supreme Court to decide whether software can be patented


WASHINGTON, Dec 6 (Reuters) - The U.S. Supreme Court onFriday agreed to decide a question of key importance to thesoftware industry by considering what kind of computer-relatedprocesses are eligible for patent protection.

The court said in a one-line order that it would hear a casebrought by Alice Corporation Pty Ltd, which holds a patent for acomputer system that facilitates financial transactions. Thepatent is challenged by CLS Bank International. The court tookno action on another case raising the same issue involving apatent dispute between WildTangent Inc, and Ultramercial Inc.

Google Inc, Hewlett-Packard Co, Facebook Inc and Netflix Incare among those that signed on to friend-of-the court briefsurging that the court intervene.

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