Accenture v. Guidewire

The oral argument in ACCENTURE GLOBAL SERVICES v. GUIDEWIRE SOFTWARE, INC., No. 2011-1486 (Fed. Cir. Sept. 5, 2013) would be of interest to those of you who follow section 101 issues as they relate to business methods and software.

I found the exchanges between Chief Judge Rader and Mark Lemley (arguing on behalf of Guidewire and against the patent eligibility of the claim at issue) to be the most interesting parts of the oral argument.  At the outset, Professor Lemley acknowledged that software is eligible for patenting: [Listen].  The discussion then moved on to whether high level functionality of software is protected by patent law.  I couldn’t help but wonder if Judge Rader’s comments at this stage were a criticism of Professor Lemley’s article “Software Patents and the Return of Functional Claiming“:  [Listen].  Judge Rader later circled back to inquire whether in view of Guidewire’s position all software would be patent ineligible: [Listen].

You can listen to the entire oral argument here: [Oral Argument].

You can read the court’s opinion here: [Opinion].

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