Liberty Mutual Ins. Co. v. Progressive Casualty Ins. Co


Paper 8, October 25, 2012

CBM-2012-00003 (JL) (Patent 8,140,358)

[Petitioner should provide clear explanation for any grounds of unpatentability asserted in the petition. The Board will resolve all vagueness and ambiguity in Petitioner’s arguments against the Petitioner]

FACTS

Petitioner, Liberty Mutual, challenged Progressive’s patent as obvious. Progressive’s patent disclosed the invention comprising a system that monitors and facilitates a review of data collected from a vehicle in order to determine the safety of driving to calculate insurance premium. The system consists of an onboard processor that collects data from the vehicle, aa memory that stores that data, a wireless transmitter that transmits the selected data to a distributed network and a server that is configured process the data and generate safety ratings. The petitioner asserted that the invention is obvious over a prior art reference that disclosed a devise one embodiment of which that senses vehicle data (e.g. speed), evaluates risks, calculates insurance premium and provides means for the payment. Another embodiment is a similar device that can be attached to a divers foot that would send a wireless distress signal to a receiver on at the surface if the evaluation of sensed data would meet specified criteria.

HOLDING

The Board denied the unpatentability grounds asserted over this prior art as not meeting the threshold for the institution of trial pursuant to 37 C.F.R. §§ 42.208(b) and 300(a). The Board noted that 37 C.F.R. § 42.1(b) shall be construed to secure just, speedy, and inexpensive resolution of every proceeding, and that per 37 C.F.R. § 42.20(c), petitioner has the burden of proof to establish that it is entitled to the requested relief. Therefore, the Board will address only the basis, rationale, and reasoning put forth by the Petitioner in the petition, and resolve all vagueness and ambiguity in Petitioner’s arguments against the Petitioner. The Board determine that the petitioner failed to explain how the challenged patent’s disclosure of wireless transmission of data collected in the vehicles to a remote database is obvious in light of the cited prior art reference. The Board noted that the prior art reference did not disclose any reason to wirelessly transmit sensed data to a remote server for further processing, but only a distress signal based on already evaluated parameters. Further, in the cited prior reference, unlike in the challenged patent, the sensing component and the evaluating component were part of the same device.

TAKEAWAY

Petitioner bears the burden of proof to establish that it is entitled to the requested relief. Therefore, the Board will address only the basis, rationale, and reasoning put forth by the Petitioner, and resolve all vagueness and ambiguity in Petitioner’s arguments against the Petitioner. Petitioner should provide clear explanation for any grounds of unpatentability asserted in the petition.

 

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