The Patent Trial & Appeal Board (PTAB) has ordered the very first business method patentability trial of the America Invents Act. The first petition for a Covered Business Method Patent Challenge (CBM) was filed on September 16th by SAP (CBM2012-00001). The petition (here) challenged U.S. Patent 6,553,350 of Versata Development Group. In May of 2011, Versata secured a $345 million dollar verdict in the Eastern District of Texas against SAP ($260 million in lost profits and $85 million as a reasonable royalty). The verdict is currently on appeal to the CAFC.
Yesterday, the PTAB held that SAP’s petition had demonstrated that it was more likely than not that the claims of the ‘350 patent were unpatentable under 35 U.S.C. §§ 101 and 102 (Trial Order here). The PTAB also set the trial schedule, mandating that the oral hearing be conducted by October 1, 2013. (scheduling Order) This schedule would provide for a written decision of the PTAB in roughly 10-12 months from yesterday’s Order, as mandated by statute.
For obvious reasons, I provide no substantive commentary.