Appeals board throws out company’s patent claim on USPS returned mail process

Law360, New York  — The Patent Trial and Appeal Board found earlier this month that the U.S. Postal Service has proven that a patent on a system for handling dead letters that Return Mail Inc. has accused it of infringing is invalid for claiming only abstract ideas under the U.S. Supreme Court’s Alice decision.

return-to-sender - EditedIn a final written decision in an America Invents Act business method patent review, the board said that the USPS has shown that the steps of claim 39 of a patent that covers a method of the “processing of returned mail items, involving decoding information, obtaining an updated address, and electronically transmitting that updated address to a transferee” are “directed to the abstract idea of relaying mailing address data.”

Read more: USPS Gets PTAB To Ax Return Mail Patent Under Alice – Law360