The Federal Circuit Narrows the Scope of Covered Business Method Review By Limiting Review to Claims that Cover Activities Financial in Nature

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The Federal Circuit issued a decision in Secure Axcess, LLC v. PNC Bank Nat’l Ass’n, No. 2016-1353, 2017 WL 676601 (Fed. Cir. Feb. 21, 2017). In its decision, authored by Judge Plager, the Federal Circuit applied the Unwired Planet decision and reversed the Patent Trial and Appeals Board (“PTAB”) and reiterated that a Covered Business Method (“CBM”) Patent must claim a “method or apparatus . . . used in the practice, administration, or management of a financial product or service,” expressly excluding patents which claim methods or apparatuses that are merely “incidental to a financial activity.” Id. at *8.

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