Supreme Court to finally decide whether people can patent software

The court agreed to hear the case Alice Corporation Pty. v. CLS Bank International to look into the issue of “whether claims to computer-implemented inventions – including claims to systems and machines, processes, and items of manufacture – are directed to patent-eligible subject matter.”
This is a big deal, because it will determine what types of software are patentable.
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that you cannot patent abstract ideas. Advocates for patent reform hope that this decision will bring more clarity to what constitutes “abstract,” and in doing so curb the amount of patent abuse and  trolling.
Alice Corporation holds a patent for a computer system that facilitates financial computer transactions. CLS Bank International challenged the patent, saying that the concept is “fundamental and ancient” and too abstract to be eligible for a patent.
The case deeply divided judges — the 10-member panel of the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals published seven different opinions.
Patent attorney Dennis Crouch said that while none of the decisions garnered majority support, seven of the 10 judges agreed that the patent lacked subject-matter eligibility, and eight of the 10 concluded that the claims should rise and fall together regardless of their claim type.
Judge Kimberly Moore on the appeals court expressed concern that the abstract idea exception to patent law “is causing a free-fall in the patent system.”