Metropolitan Life Insurance Co. and Bancorp Services LLC are back in the ring again. Bancorp has filed a complaint alleging that MetLife is infringing a patent for a system that administers and tracks the values of insurance policies in separate accounts (U.S. Patent No. 7,249,037). The patent issued on the same day that Bancorp filed suit.
Just three months ago, Bancorp failed to succeed in a similar claim of infringement against MetLife for a related patent (U.S. Patent No. 5,926,792) directed to a system for administering separate account life insurance policies. Bancorp has appealed this decision to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Before this loss, Bancorp had successfully enforced the ‘792 patent against Hartford Life Insurance Co. after the Federal Circuit had upheld the validity of the patent. In turn, Hartford and Bancorp reached an $80 million settlement.
In this round, Bancorp seeks damages from MetLife and an injunction against infringement of the ‘037 patent. Apparently, Bancorp believes that its appeal to the Federal Circuit on the related ‘792 patent case will be successful, and that even if it is not, the affirmance will not affect the ruling on its ‘037 patent.