Internet Giants Ask Courts to Reject Cases Over Vague Patent Claims

Say innovation suffers as a result


Just because you take an abstract idea and say you do it "on a computer" or "over the Internet" doesn't mean you deserve a patent, according to an amicus brief filed on Friday by Google, Facebook and six other tech companies. It asks the courts to reject lawsuits based on patents for vague concepts instead of specific applications because they rack up costs and retard innovation.

The amicus curiae brief lets parties outside of a case volunteer information to help a court make a decision. Also cosigned by Zynga, Dell, Intuit, Homeaway, Rackspace, and Red Hat, this brief communicates information to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit regarding the case CLS vs. Alice. CLS claims that Alice's patents for the vague idea of financial intermediation implemented with a computer shouldn't be valid. However, the courts initially ruled that Alice's patents were eligible and could be used to counter-sue CLS for infringement.