U.S. justices signal narrow ruling in software patents case

WASHINGTON, March 31 Mon Mar 31, 2014 11:24am EDT

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WASHINGTON, March 31 (Reuters) - U.S. Supreme Court justices gave little indication on Monday they would set new guidelines on patent eligibility of software.

From their questions during an hour-long oral argument, the court appeared likely to rule for CLS Bank International by saying Alice Corp Pty Ltd patents for a computer system that facilitates financial transactions were not patent eligible.

Although some of the nine justices signaled a willingness to set a test that would describe exactly what types of computer-implemented inventions were patent eligible, others suggested there was no need for a broader ruling. A decision is expected by the end of June. (Reporting by Lawrence Hurley; Editing by Howard Goller)