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CAFC Weekly: June 25, 2010

by Orlando Lopez

There was only one precedential opinion this week and it involved a patent related to a computerized method for administering variable annuity plans.  In Lincoln Natl v. Transamerica Life, the CAFC reversed the judgment of infringement.  Although Transamerica’s benefit riders required making scheduled payments even if the account value was exhausted, which was an element of the patent claim, there was no evidence that the payment was made by a computerized method.  On the contrary, the evidence indicated that a manual check was produced, and the claim at issue recited a computerized method.

After finding that Transamerica did not infringe, the CAFC did not consider whether the denial of Transamerica’s request to amend the complaint to include invalidity, due to lack of patentable subject matter after the CAFC’s Bilski decision, was erroneous.  By not considering that issue, the CAFC avoided considering the effect of its Bilski decision, in view of the expected (June 28, 2010) Supreme Court decision on Bilski.

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