WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Supreme Court will hear an appeal of a lower court decision that a federal judge called the "death" of software patents.
Justices will take up an appeal from lawyers representing the Alice Corp. in its attempt to patent computer-implemented escrow systems, software, and methods.
Abstract ideas, natural phenomena and laws of nature cannot be patented. A closely-divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit told the company the patents couldn't be granted.
But a dissenting judge called the decision "the death of hundreds of thousands of patents, including all business method, financial system, and software patents."
The Supreme Court said Friday it would review the decision. Justices will hear the case next year.