Dur dur de faire (breveter) des affaires aux États-Unis…

Dans l’arrêt H&R Block v. Jackson Hewitt, le juge a recommandé que le brevet d’H&R Block portant sur le remboursement anticipé de l’impôt dû a un client soit invalidé comme ne décrivant pas de la matière brevetable. La décision du juge s’appuie sur Bilski. Selon la Cour aucune revendication ne passe le test “particular-machine-or-transformation”.

The “computerized system” claims did not identify a “particular, special purpose machine” that was more than “an insignificant, extra-solution component of the claimed invention.” Likewise, the transformation of “tax return data” into a “spending vehicle” is not the type of transformation required under the test.

“At all steps in the claimed processes, the manipulated data represent legal obligations and relationships. However described, the data and resulting loan represent money. Although tangible in some forms, money is simply a representation of a legal obligation or abstract concept.”

Claim 1 of Patent 7,072,862 reads as follows:

  1. A computerized system for distributing spending vehicles comprising:
  • a payment due from a governmental entity;
  • an assignable right to receive said payment from said governmental entity, said assignable right held by an individual;
  • a spending vehicle offered by a third party sponsor to said individual in exchange for at least a portion of said individual’s right to receive said payment due;
  • an assignment of at least a portion of said individual’s right to receive said payment to said third party sponsor in exchange for said spending vehicle;
  • wherein information associating said payment with said spending vehicle from said third party sponsor is stored in and retrieved from a computer to facilitate processing of said spending vehicle and said spending vehicle is issued to said individual in an amount for spending by said individual of said at least a portion of said payment, said governmental entity is electronically notified to transfer said at least a portion of said payment to said third party sponsor, and said at least a portion of said payment is received by said third party sponsor.
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