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Full text of "USPTO Patents Application 09876311"

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1-15428 

REMARKS 

Responsive to the outstanding Office Action, applicant has carefully studied the 
Examiner's rejections. As the previous action was made final, a request for continued 
examination accompanies this response. Favorable reconsideration of the application 
in light of the following amendments and detailed arguments is respectfully requested . 

The claims pending in this application are claims 1-19. Claims 1, 8, 12, 13 and 
19 have been amended herein. 

REJECTIONS UNDER 35 USC §112 
Claim 19 was rejected under 35 USC §1 12 as being indefinite for repeating the 
language of claim 16 from which it depends. Claim 19 has been amended to depend 
from claim 18, which it is believed should overcome the present rejection. It is therefore 
believed that all of the claims are in compliance with 35 USC §112, second paragraph 
and withdrawal of this rejection is therefore requested. 

REJECTIONS UNDER 35 USC §102 
Claims 1-3, 5-9 and 11-13 were rejected under 35 USC 102(e) as being 
anticipated by Brown (US 6,151,586). The Examiner notes that Brown discloses a 
method of incentivising members of a disease management programme to comply with 
the programme. The Examiner, in detail, states that Brown shows each element of 



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pending claim 1 in paragraph 2A, and in paragrapghs 2B-2N details each of the 
dependent claims and the other independent claims in view of Brown , 

In paragraph 10 of the action, the Examiner responds to applicants previous 
arguments.. The Examiner maintains that, contrary to applicants assertion, Brown does 
distinguish between "general" and "specific" program areas. The Examiner also states 
that Brown awards points (referring to the evaluation criteria associated with diabetes). 
Further, with regards to claims 4 and 10, the Examiner indicates that applicants' 
arguments are moot in view of the new grounds of rejection against these claims. 

In response thereto, applicants have amended the independent claims to clarify 
the subject matter being claimed. Claim 1 defines a method of incentivising members 
of a disease management programme to comply with the programme. A plurality of 
general programme areas and a plurality of specific programme areas are defined, 
wherein the plurality of general programme areas are programme areas that if complied 
with will be of benefit to a member stricken with any disease managed by the disease 
management programme and wherein the plurality of specific programme areas are 
programme areas that are determined to be of particular benefit to a member afflicted 
with some but not all of the diseases managed by the disease management 
programme. Points are awarded to a member for each of the general programme 
areas in which the member participates and for each of the specific programme areas 
in which the member participates, only if the member is afflicted with a disease to 
which the specific programme area in which the member participates has been 



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determined to be of particular benefit. The total points to be awardfed to the member 
are calculated and a reward is allocated to the member if the total number of points 
awarded to the member accumulate to a predetermined amount, 

Applicant continues to assert that the disclosure of US 6,151 ,586 (Brown) does 
not anticipate the present invention,, As noted above, the Examiner has stated, in the 
section "response to arguments", that "... the exemplary program areas of diabetes and 
asthma are general areas, and that customization of these programs to individual 

patients represents types of specific program areas Thus the examiner has 

equated diabetes and asthma as being general areas. It is respectfully submitted that 
this differs from the claimed invention in which diabetes and asthma are defined as 
diseases and not general program areas. 

This distinction has been accentuated in the amendments to the independent 
claims. Thus in terms of the claimed invention diabetes and asthma are diseases each 
having general program areas and specific program areas that apply to their 
management. As such, the examiner's arguments are not applicable to the claims as 
amended, 

Further, applicant continues to traverse the examiner's position regarding the 
awarding points and compliance with the programme,, It is believed that the 
amendments to the claims further accentuate this difference, For example, the 
examiner in section 10B states that "... a patient participating in say the diabetes 
program area The examiner has again called the disease of diabetes a program 



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area whereas in the present invention diseases are not defined as program areas. With 
this in mind the examiner will appreciate that Brown in Fig 5B (as referred to by the 
Examiner) does not disclose awarding points merely for a good glucose monitor 
reading. Rather, the patient would need to comply with all the other evaluation criteria 
on the screen before being awarded a coupon, 

In contrast, in the present invention as claimed, points are awarded for 
complying with a program area even though overall compliance is not yet achieved. 
Thus, a diabetic patient with a good glucose monitor reading will receive points in terms 
of the present invention as claimed and in contrast to Brown,, This reward system is 
neither taught nor suggested by the Brown reference which instead would require 
overall compliance. 

Similarly, independent claim 8 discloses a method of incentivising members of a 
disease management programme to comply with the programme. A plurality of general 
program areas and a plurality of specific programme areas are defined, wherein the 
plurality of general program areas are program areas that if complied with will be of 
benefit to a member stricken with any disease managed by the disease management 
program and wherein the plurality of specific program areas are program areas that are 
determined to be of particular benefit to a member afflicted with some but not all of the 
diseases managed by the disease management program. Measureables are defined 
within each of the general and specific programme areas so that a member's 
performance within said program area can be ascertained, as is a minimum level for 



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each measurable, which minimum level indicates a minimum required level of member 
performance within each of the program areas. Points are awarded to a member if the 
member obtains the minimum level of a measurable for a particular program area only if 
the member is afflicted with a disease which is associated with that particular program 
area and a reward is allocated to the member if the points awarded to the member 
accumulate to a predetermined amount. It is respectfully submitted that claims 12 and 
13 have been amended in a similar manner and define these same patentably 
distinguishable concepts. 

It is respectfully submitted that these claims are allowable over the applied art of 
record for the reasons as stated above with respect to claim 1 . 

REJECTIONS UNDER 35 USC §103 
Claims 4, 10, 14, 15, 17 and 18 were rejected under 35 USC §103 as being 
unpatentable over Brown as applied above in view of Bro (US 5,722,418). Claims 16 
and 19 were rejected under 35 USC §103 as being unpatentable over Brown as applied 
above in view of Bro and further in view of US 6,085,976 (Sehr). It is respectfully 
submitted that each of these dependent claims depend from one of independent claims 
1, 8, 12 and 13 as discussed above. It is respectfully submitted that neither of the 
additional references as applied herein have any bearing on the patentability of 
independent claims 1, 8, 12 and 13. As these claims are submitted to be allowable, for 



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the reasons stated above, it is respectfully submitted that the present rejections under 
35 (JSC §103 are moot 



For the reasons stated above, it is respectfully submitted that independent 
claims 1,8, 12 and 13 are allowable over the applied art of record.. Claims 2-7, 9-1 1 
and 14-19 depend, directly or indirectly, from what are believed to be allowable base 
claims for the reasons stated hereinabove, and are believed to be allowable based, at 
least, upon this dependence.. 

Claims 1-19 are thus believed to be allowable. It is therefore submitted that the 
application is now in condition for allowance, and action towards that end is respectfully 
requested. 

Should the Examiner wish to modify the application in any way, applicants 
attorney suggests a telephone interview in order to expedite the prosecution of the 
application. 



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