101 Issue Fast Tracked to April Oral Argument at PTAB

The very 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 $391 million dollar verdict in the Eastern District of Texas against SAP. The verdict is currently on appeal to the CAFC.

Back in January, the PTAB held that SAP’s CBM 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 original trial schedule, mandating that the oral hearing be conducted by October 1, 2013. (scheduling Order)

Last week, the PTAB agreed to expedite the trial schedule and move the oral hearing to April 17, 2013. (decision here) The six month acceleration in the proceeding was provided in exchange for SAP dropping the 102 defenses, and agreeing to move forward only on their 101 challenge to the Versata patent. Each side will be given 60 minutes for oral argument.