From the Alliance


Sep. 9, 2020

Innovation Alliance Fact Sheet on the Covered Business Method Patent Review Program

The Temporary Covered Business Method Patent Review Program Should Sunset as Scheduled


In 2011, Congress enacted Section 18 of the American Invents Act (“AIA”) to create a temporary program to challenge “covered business method” patents (“CBM”).  CBM reviews were intended to allow the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (“PTAB”) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (“USPTO”) to review a narrow set of patents that proponents of the program believed may have been improperly granted as a result of court decisions in the early 1990s and 2000s.  The AIA provided for “transitional” CBM reviews, an eight-year program beginning in 2012—long enough to allow petitioners to challenge business method patents—and scheduled to expire on September 16, 2020.

Congress should reject any efforts to extend or expand the program beyond its specific time and purpose.  The past eight years have provided more than enough time for petitioners to challenge covered business method patents.  Any further extension would undermine patent rights and drain resources from the USPTO.  The program is now rarely used.  The USPTO has recommended “adhering to the sunset period and discontinuing CBM proceedings on Sept. 16, 2020.”

For more information detailing why Congress should allow the CBM program to expire as intended, read our fact sheet here.