NEW YORK, April 6, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), which conducts trials on questions of patent validity, has sided with Askeladden L.L.C. for a second and third time in recent weeks, finding two patents—Patent No. 8,523,063 and Patent No. 8,297,502—invalid. Askeladden established its Patent Quality Initiative to promote patent quality by regularly filing amicus briefs, challenging low quality patents through Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs), and engaging in educational activities.
The PTAB's decisions confirmed Askeladden's assertions, made in all four petitions for Inter Partes Review (IPR), that the two patents related to loyalty rewards programs were invalid because their subject matter was obvious at the time they were filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
PTAB's decisions mean that these poor-quality patents can no longer be wielded against businesses through resource-intensive litigation. In recent years, low-quality patents have been leveraged to secure quick, financial settlements from operating companies. Settlement costs related to invalid patents impact companies of all sizes and undermine their ability to invest in technologies that are actually novel and products that provide consumers new and innovative choices.
"These decisions are further proof that Inter Partes Review is an important channel for eliminating invalid patents—and the frivolous lawsuits they spur," said Sean Reilly, General Counsel of Askeladden. "We will build on these victories and plan to continue our efforts to target more patents that we believe to be of low-quality."
The PTAB issued its decision on the first loyalty rewards program patent successfully challenged under Askeladden's Patent Quality Initiative in March. The PTAB agreed with Askeladden and found U.S. Patent Number 8,540,152 unpatentable because it is obvious in view of the prior art identified by Askeladden.
A total of three U.S. patents have now been invalidated:
- U.S. Patent Number 8,540,152
- U.S. Patent Number 8,523,063
- U.S. Patent Number 8,297,502
The challenges to these three patents were submitted by PQI through a total of six IPRs asking that the USPTO take a second look at the three patents. Related patents to those challenged by Askeladden were the subject of lawsuits brought against ten airlines based on the conversion of points and other rewards from partner programs—such as credit card loyalty programs—into frequent flier miles.
About Patent Quality Initiative
Askeladden L.L.C. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Clearing House. Established in 1853, The Clearing House is the oldest banking association and payments company in the United States and is owned by the world's largest commercial banks, which hold half of all U.S. deposits. Askeladden is an education, information and advocacy organization with the goal of improving the understanding, use and reliability of patents in financial services and other industries. As part of its Patent Quality Initiative, Askeladden strives to promote better patents and patent holder behaviors by regularly filing amicus briefs, Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) and engaging in educational activities. For more information, please visit www.patentqualityinitiative.com or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/PatentSean.
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SOURCE Patent Quality Initiative