Prior to adjourning for the summer, the United States Supreme Court rendered an opinion relating to the patent eligibility of computer-implemented inventions. In Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International, the Court held that all claims of a patent owned by Alice Corp., including method, system, and computer-readable medium claims, are drawn to an abstract idea and, therefore, are not patent-eligible. The opinion is one in a recent series of cases addressing patent eligibility.
More and more employers are choosing to conduct background checks on potential hires, including checks for criminal and credit history. There are a number of legitimate reasons for doing so, including compliance regulations in certain industries, concern about liability for negligent hiring, and simply a desire to ensure that employers are selecting the right person for the job. Employers must be mindful, however, that administrative agencies at both the state and federal levels are scrutinizing these practices like never before, and that many states (like Wisconsin) have laws on the books that regulate how employers are permitted to use background check information.