Is It the End of a Brief Era of Business Method Patents in the Insurance Industry?

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In 1998 the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals opened the door to financial business method patents. Since then, there has been a deluge of business method patents in the financial and life insurance industries.

As a result, insurance companies have aggressively and successfully prosecuted patent actions against their competitors. For example, Lincoln National Life Insurance Company secured a $13 million verdict against Transamerica Life Insurance Co. The suit asserted infringement of patents on variable annuity products using computerized methods for administering retirement income benefits. The two companies are also engaged in separate litigation over similar Transamerica financial products in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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