In a series of decisions addressing whether an abstract idea involves “financial product or service” in the context of covered business method (CBM) reviews, the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB or Board) found all of the challenged patents to be directed to financial products or services. Care N’ Care Insurance Company, Inc. and TriZetto Corporation v. Integrated Claims Systems, LLC, Case CBM2015-00062 (PTAB, July 30, 2015) (Jung, APJ); Care N’ Care Insurance Company, Inc. and TriZetto Corporation v. Integrated Claims Systems, LLC, Case CBM2015-00063 (PTAB, July 30, 2015) (Jung, APJ); Care N’ Care Insurance Company, Inc. and TriZetto Corporation v. Integrated Claims Systems, LLC, Case CBM2015-00064 (PTAB, July 30, 2015) (Jung, APJ).
The petitioner sought CBM reviews for patents directed to an attachment integrated claims system for preparing and processing forms with integrated attachments for digitally processing insurance claims. The parties disputed whether the patents were eligible for CBM review.
The petitioner argued that the claims were directed to insurance data (“an insurance claim form” in one of the challenged patents, and “insurance transaction data” in another of the challenged patents) and cited Board decisions equating insurance with a financial product or service. The patent owner argued that although the claims include the word “insurance,” the claims did not comprise a novel type of insurance policy and were a computer technology solution to a computer network problem rather than an improvement in the issuance, adjudication or payment of insurance.
The Board agreed with the petitioner concluding that the claims were for methods or corresponding apparatus for performing data processing used in the administration or management of insurance claims, and that insurance is a financial product or service. The Board explained that CBM review is not limited to novel financial products or services, but rather may include data processing or other operations used in the practice, administration or management of a financial product or service.
The petitioner further asserted that the claims did not add a technological feature but only recited generic computer hardware, noting that the challenged patents stated that the software needed to implement preferred embodiments could be developed within the framework of commercially available software packages. The Board agreed that reciting the use of known prior art technology to accomplish a process or method, even if that process or method is novel and non-obvious, typically does not render a patent a technological invention. Thus, the Board concluded that the challenged patents were subject to CBM review.