SIPCO, LLC v. EMERSON ELECTRIC CO., decided Sept. 25, 2019, Covered Business Method

.S. Patent No. 8,908,842 is directed to wireless communications from a remote device (e.g., key fob) to communicate with a central device (e.g., verification server) through two or more hops (e.g., wireless coms from fob, to ATM, to bank server) (page 3). According to the specification, a low power transmitter is used to avoid interference and interception of comms (page 3). “Low power transmitter” is properly interpreted to be a transmitter operating at a power level for limited transmission range based on examples of the specification (pages 10-11). For determining whether the claim is directed to a covered business method, the PTO board used dependent claims directed to vending machines and ATMs show use in financial products or services without being drawn to a technological invention (pages 5-6). By including the dependent claim for an ATM, at least one claim uses the idea for financial services (pages 14-15). The low power transmitter solves technical problems with a technical solution, so the claims may not be directed to a covered business method (remand to determine a novel and unobvious technical solution) (pages 18-22).

Hindsight: Indicating a technical problem and solution in the specification for any limitation may be beneficial. It will be best if the technical solution also contributes to novelty and non-obviousness. Consider whether to include financial service or even service related dependent claims as such inclusion may contribute to availability of covered business method review.