CLS Bank v. Alice: a summary of oral arguments at the Supreme Court

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toes
Did Diehr and Benson in the wabe:
All mimsy were the patent’s claims,
And the infringing raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Software Patent, my son!
The Business that Methods, the Idea that Abstracts!
Beware of Mayo and Bilksi, and shun,
A standard that would make 101 too lax!”

Breyer took his vorpal hypothetical in hand:
At great length he expounded on King Tut
And about his checkbook, and about his mom,
Before Kennedy quite rudely cut him off.

And, as in uffish thought he mused,
how this code could be, by a computer group,
in but a weekend, totally produced
at a cafe! A Silicon Valley computer group!

The counsel for Alice replied strong and bold:
“But that’s true of almost all software!”
And because the bench is all really old
Nary a denial was heard anywhere.

Roberts shook his fist at flowcharts and arrows,
And Scalia went on about fours and fives,
There was no resolution—computers are hard!
“And that’s all the math I know,” Alice’s counsel sighed.

And as they dithered on with 101,
The Software Patent, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal hypo went snicker-snack!
They left it dead, and with its head
the SCOTUS went galumphing back.

“And, has thou slain the Software Patent?
Come to my arms, my beamish Court!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
We chortled in our joy.

Haha, just kidding! Like that’ll ever be.
No one is sure where the Nine will go.
And with the arguments, you can see
not even the Court seems to know.


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