The United States Supreme Court affirmed the en banc CAFC decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank Int’l that the claims were directed to a patent-ineligible abstract idea.
33. A method of exchanging obligations as between parties, each party holding a credit record and a debit record with an exchange institution, the credit records and debit records for exchange of predetermined obligations, the method comprising the steps of:
The Court stated:
On their face, the claims before us are drawn to the concept of intermediated settlement, i.e., the use of a third party to mitigate settlement risk. Like the risk hedging in Bilski, the concept of intermediated settlement is “ ‘a fundamental economic practice long prevalent in our system of commerce.’” The use of a third-party intermediary (or “clearing house”) is also a building block of the modern economy. Thus, intermediated settlement, like hedging, is an“abstract idea” beyond the scope of §101. [internal references removed]
The Court rejected the position that merely the use of a computer could make the claims patent eligible: “These case s demonstrate that the mere recitation of a generic computer cannot transform a patent-ineligible abstract idea into a patent-eligible invention. Stating an abstract idea “while adding the words ‘apply it’” is not enough for patent eligibility.”