Keeping You Trucking Along
Buying a car or truck is often a stressful experience, involving aggressive salespersons, negotiating trade-in values, obtaining financing, and…patent infringement?
That’s right. In 2013, the Credit Acceptance Corporation began asserting U.S. Patent No. 6,950,807 (the “’807 patent”) against U.S. dealers and lenders, alleging that anyone using a computer to help finance a car (or any product for that matter) infringed its patent. Most of us who have purchased a car in the last 20 years have seen dealers use computers in the process of financing a car.
Fortunately, the Patent Office has a group of experts—called The Patent Trial and Appeal Board, or PTAB—which was able to take a second look at the ’807 patent using a post-grant review process (whereby they can consider whether a patent was granted in error). They concluded that the ’807 patent covered a well-known business practice of financing a car and merely performing those steps on a computer did not merit a patent. The appeals court affirmed the PTAB’s decision.
So thanks to the PTAB, you don’t have to worry about patent infringement when buying your next car. (Sorry, they can’t do anything about the loan, or that pesky salesperson!)