Friday, January 18, 2013

Retirement planning method found to be obvious


The claim concerned:

A method for using a desktop including a display for forecasting a likelihood that a customer’s assets held in a plurality of different types of customer accounts at retirement meet in-retirement goals, including, but not limited to, an annual income withdrawal goal, an estate goal, and a years in retirement goal ...

The art in question:

Claims 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11-20, 36, 39-41, and 43-48 stand rejected under 35 U.S.C. § 103(a) as unpatentable over Corrin (US 2002/0035527 A1, pub. Mar. 21, 2002) in view of Tracey Longo, The First Cut Is The Cheapest: Retirement distributions can come from many sources IRAs, 401(k)s, and so on. Knowing where to start can prolong earnings growth, Financial Planning. New York, 1-4 (Apr. 1, 1999) (hereinafter “Longo”).

As to descriptive material:

The United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) need not give patentable weight to descriptive material absent a new and unobvious functional relationship between the descriptive material and the substrate. See In re Gulack, 703 F.2d 1381, 1386 (Fed. Cir. 1983; In re Ngai, 367 F.3d 1336, 1339 (Fed. Cir. 2004); and In re Lowry, 32 F.3d 1579, 1583-84 (Fed. Cir. 1994).

“The prior art’s mere disclosure of more than one alternative does not constitute a teaching away from any of these alternatives because such disclosure does not criticize, discredit, or otherwise discourage the solution claimed.” In re Fulton, 391 F.3d 1195, 1201 (Fed. Cir. 2004).


The decision of the Examiner to reject claims 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11-20,
36, 39-41, and 43-48 is AFFIRMED.

This decision contains several new grounds of rejection pursuant to 37
C.F.R. § 41.50(b). 37 C.F.R. § 41.50(b) provides that “[a] new ground of rejection . . . shall not be considered final for judicial review.”


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