The Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) has just issued its first decisions applying the USPTO’s January Section 101 guidance in an America Invents Act (AIA) review. On April 22, the PTAB invalidated four financial document processing patents held by Mirror Imaging L.L.C. in covered business method (CBM) reviews filed by Fidelity Information Services (FIS), after ruling that the patents fell into several categories of subject matter that the guidance deems to be abstract. Since the patents did not contain a “practical application” of the claimed abstract idea, the claims failed the first step of the Alice test as implemented in the guidance. The Board then proceeded to find that the claims lacked the “inventive concept” needed to survive Alice step two. While the guidance is not binding on district courts, these rulings provide an early indication of how it might be applied in future litigation.
Two days before the start of fall, Mirror Imaging L.L.C. added five more cases to the summer rebirth of a litigation campaign that began back in September 2002. The new suits, against Benchmark Bank (2:17-cv-00654), Guaranty Bank (2:17-cv-00655), North American Bancshares (American National Bank of Texas) (2:17-cv-00653), North Dallas Bank & Trust (2:17-cv-00656), and Third Coast Bancshares (2:17-cv-00657), bring the active defendant count near 30. Four patents, generally related to the remote retrieval of financial documents, are asserted in the complaints filed over the past three months, with infringement allegations targeting the online banking systems provided by the defendants, which have all been banks formed in Texas, with branches in Texas, or both.
The summer rebirth of the sole litigation campaign of inventor-controlled Mirror Imaging L.L.C. has continued in August. The NPE has so far sued ten more banks this month: AFNB Holdings (American First National Bank) (2:17-cv-00578), Bank of the Ozarks (2:17-cv-00579), Cathay General Bancorp (Cathay Bank) (2:17-cv-00580), Green Bancorp (Green Bank) (2:17-cv-00563), Iberiabank (2:17-cv-00581), Inwood Bancshares (Inwood National Bank) (2:17-cv-00564), Origin Bancorp (Origin Bank) (2:17-cv-00565), Plains Capital (PlainsCapital Bank) (2:17-cv-00566), Regions Financial (Regions Bank) (2:17-cv-00582), and Texas Bank and Trust (2:17-cv-00568). Four patents, generally related to the remote retrieval of financial documents, are asserted in the new complaints, with infringement allegations targeting the defendants’ online banking systems in this campaign.
Mirror Imaging L.L.C. has added five cases in July to the three that it filed last month, reopening a litigation campaign that had been dormant since August 2010. The new defendants are Austin Bancorp (2:17-cv-00539), Independent Bank Group (2:17-cv-00540), LegacyTexas Group (2:17-cv-00541), Prosperity Bancshares (2:17-cv-00542), and Southside Bank (2:17-cv-00543), each alleged to be a Texas bank. The same four patents (6,963,866; 7,552,118; 7,836,067; 9,141,612) are asserted against these defendants as were asserted in Mirror Imaging’s June cases. The patents are generally related to the remote retrieval of financial documents, with the NPE targeting the defendants’ online banking systems in this campaign.
Inventor-controlled Mirror Imaging L.L.C. has filed a third wave in the litigation campaign that it began nearly 15 years ago. The new complaints, all filed in the Eastern District of Texas, accuse BOK (BOKF) (d/b/a Bank of Texas) (2:17-cv-00507), First National Bank of Omaha (2:17-cv-00508), and First National Bank Texas (2:17-cv-00509) of infringing four patents (6,963,866; 7,552,118; 7,836,067; 9,141,612) generally related to remote retrieval of financial documents. Mirror Imaging targets the defendants’ online banking systems. The earliest patent in this five-member family (6,446,072) was at issue in the first wave of this campaign, filed in September 2002, while the July 2008 wave saw litigation over the ‘866 and ‘118 patents.