Recently we hosted an online symposium in anticipation of last week’s sunset of covered business method review (CBMR), proceedings held by the Patent Trial and Appeal Board to review the patentability of claims included in “covered business method” patents. The Federal Circuit, in turn, reviews the PTAB’s judgments in these proceedings. Six authors across four blog posts presented various analyses of CBMR, including arguments for and against allowing the program to sunset, the history of CBMR, and the significance of Federal Circuit opinions reviewing decisions by the PTAB in these proceedings. Here, we wrap up our online symposium by highlighting each contribution and its central premise, before I provide some brief closing remarks reflecting on what we have read.
Online Symposium: The CBM Program Should Expire This Week as Provided by Law—Effective Alternatives for Robust Administrative Reviews of Issued Patents Remain
Guest post by Ron D. Katznelson, Ph.D.
The Transitional Program for Covered Business Method Patent Review (CBMR) was enacted in § 18 of the America Invents Act (AIA) for reviewing issued Covered Business Method (CBM) patents – patents that claim “a method or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service.” The AIA also set a sunset expiration date for CBMR on September 16, 2020. For the reasons explained below, CBMR should expire this week as intended and enacted in the AIA. As further explained below, those who wish to challenge CBM patents after that date, can effectively do so using any of the three alternative administrative proceedings at the US Patent & Trademark Office (PTO) that remain available with no sunset expiration, or by federal court action.