Credit Acceptance Corp. v. Westlake Services

CAC’s patent includes both system and method claims directed to “provid[ing] financing for allowing a customer to purchase a product selected from an inventory of products maintained by a dealer.” In one embodiment, the products are vehicles for sale at a car dealership. The invention involves “maintaining a database of the dealer’s inventory,” gathering financing information from the customer, and “presenting a financing package to the dealer for each individual product in the dealer’s inventory.” Westlake petitioned for Covered Business Method (CBM) review, asserting that all claims were ineligible for patenting under 35 U.S.C. 101. Three months after the Board instituted review of some claims, the Supreme Court vacated precedent on which the Board had relied. In view of the developments in section 101 jurisprudence, Westlake filed a second petition, challenging the remaining claims. In its decision to institute review, the Board rejected CAC’s argument that the existence of the first CBM proceeding estopped Westlake from challenging claims the remaining claims under 35 U.S.C. 325(e)(1). The Board’s determination was based on the fact that the first proceeding had not yet resulted in a final written decision. The Federal Circuit agreed that estoppel did not apply and that the challenged claims were unpatentable. View "Credit Acceptance Corp. v. Westlake Services" on Justia Law