Ropes & Gray Represents Major Bank in One of the First Covered Business Method (“CBM”) Patent Reviews Filed By Banking Industry
Ropes & Gray today announced it has filed the second covered business method (CBM) petition in the banking industry, on behalf of client Branch Banking and Trust Company (“BB&T”) (NYSE:BBT) against Maxim Integrated Products, Inc. (“Maxim”), at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), challenging the patentability of one of Maxim’s generic integrated circuit patents. Maxim has asserted its patents against BB&T’s mobile banking smartphone applications as well as BB&T’s mobile banking website.
CBM review became available on September 16, 2012. On that date, Ropes & Gray filed three CBM petitions on behalf of the first financial services company to initiate this proceeding to challenge a patent. That challenger was a major national insurance company, Liberty Mutual Insurance Company. In fact, Ropes & Gray’s post-grant trial team represents the challengers on all four of the CBM petitions that were filed with the USPTO that day, including SAP, the first company to file for CBM review.
Now on the first anniversary of that date, Ropes & Gray has filed a CBM petition on behalf of a major national bank, Branch Banking and Trust Company (“BB&T”). This challenge marks the second CBM petition filed by a major U.S. bank. Banks and other financial service entities were among the major proponents of new provisions allowing for post-grant review of “covered business method patents,” including § 18(d)(1) of the Leahy-Smith America Invents Act.
The CBM proceeding presents an opportunity for a petitioner to have its challenge heard by a three-judge panel of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”). This new form of administrative litigation provides an important venue for financial services companies to challenge patents. During the one year since the CBM and similar inter partes review (“IPR”) procedures became available, the PTAB has announced that it quickly became one of the top five venues nationwide for challenging patents.