Supreme Court to rule on software patents

|By:, SA News Editor

Amid intensifying scrutiny of software patents and perceived patent trolls, the Supreme Court says it will review whether companies should be able to obtain monopolies on software-related business methods via patent law.

The review could represent a challenge to the Federal Circuit Appeals Court, which has routinely sided with patent owners in disputes related to software IP and other matters.

The Supreme Court's decision comes shortly after the House passed the Innovation Act, a bill whose supporters argue will significantly cut the number of frivolous U.S. patent suits filed each year. Among other things, the bill requires litigants to list which patents are being infringed when making a complaint, and makes plaintiffs pay court costs if they lose.

The White House, which earlier in 2013 issued 5 executive actions and 7 legislative proposals aimed at patent trolls, has voiced its support for the Innovation Act.

Potentially affected companies: ACTG, RPXC, VRNG, VHC, WILN, IDCC, RMBS, PRKR.