PTAB Gone Rogue on Covered Business Methods
In CBM2015-00161, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) at the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) recently instituted a Covered Business Method (CBM) review on a non-business method patent with a clear and unambiguous technological aspect. This institution decision is in direct contravention of the statute, which is by its express terms prevents CBM review from anything with a technical aspect. In short, only covered business methods, which are financial related business method patents without a technological aspect, are supposed to be subject to this special form of post grant review. Even more troubling, the patent in question has been found to be directed to technological improvements by both the European Patent Office and the United States Federal District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Nevertheless, the PTAB still instituted a CBM.