Wikipedia:Meetup/DC/SupremeCourt AliceCLSBank

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Alice vs CLS Bank case to be argued at the U.S. Supreme Court[edit]

When: Monday, March 31st, 2014, 6:00am - 11:30am

Who: Anyone wishing to see this software patents case argued: Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International

What to bring': Photo ID and quarters for the coin-operated lockers where we must store our stuff. The lockers are small, and we may go through the line more than once. One quarter reserves a locker for just one pass through.

Where: U.S. Supreme Court building. The line forms on the public sidewalk in front of the Court building, left of the front entrance, between the Court building and the Capital.

No RSVP is needed. If we arrived around 6am we expected to be able to sit to see the case argued completely, but in fact this was not early enough because so many Supreme Court bar members went in. They have priority over the members of the public.

We cannot bring cameras or phones into the courtroom. After we are let into the building and go through the first metal detectors, we will have a chance to put our belongings including coats into coin-operated lockers. Supposedly starting at 7:30 we can go one at a time from the line into the building to go to the bathroom. More useful background for attending the Court:


  • To learn about how the U.S. legal system is handling patents on software
  • To learn how to organize a visit to the Supreme Court.


Supreme Court visit to Alice Corp. vs. CLS Bank - Schedule
Time Activity Location
6:00am Wait in line U.S. Supreme Court building, out back
10:00-11:00am See the case argued. Inside the Supreme Court building.
11:00-11:15 Depart, or maybe have lunch in the Court's cafeteria.


  1. User: econterms
  2. User: eefun

Results / Outcomes[edit]

  • User:B k joined us in line and we met met a patent attorney who had also made Wikipedia edits.
  • There were many patent attorneys and law students in line, and we talked to one law professor also. We did not find software developers.
  • Our 6am arrival turned out not to be early enough to see the entire case argued. Incredible. That was 4 hours ahead of the case hearing. We saw about five minutes, which was informative.
  • We went through a metal detector, then checked our things into tiny lockers in a tiny room jammed with other visitors, then went through another metal detector and waited some more. We were given numbers to mark our places in line. Our numbers were around 65, and it looks like only the first 40 or 50 got in to see the whole case.
  • I think the Court should have more space for public people like us. -- econterms (talk)