Federal District Judge Upholds Patent Judgment in Favor of Lincoln Financial Group
PHILADELPHIA, June 25, 2009 Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC) announced the Federal District Court in Iowa validated a jury's decision to render a verdict in favor of Lincoln National Life Insurance Company in a patent infringement lawsuit against Transamerica Life Insurance Company and related Aegon USA companies. The judge in the case held that reasonable grounds supported the jury's verdict that Lincoln's '201 patent was not invalid, that Transamerica infringed and determination that an appropriate damages award for Transamerica's infringement was $13.1 million. In addition, the judge entered an injunction against Transamerica enjoining the companies from using a computer to administer new or existing riders in any infringing manner.
The patent claims at issue in the Transamerica case relate to a computerized method for administering variable annuity products that combine guaranteed minimum payment features with systematic withdrawal programs. Transamerica has started an appeal to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. Transamerica also filed what it labeled an "emergency" motion asking that the permanent injunction be delayed during the appeal, but the Federal Circuit denied Transamerica's emergency motion. The appeal and motion are currently being considered by the Federal Court.
In February of 2009, a jury rendered a verdict in favor of Lincoln National Life Insurance Company and against three Aegon USA companies: Transamerica Life Insurance Co., Transamerica Financial Life Insurance Co., and Western Reserve Life Assurance Co. of Ohio.
"We are pleased that the Federal District Judge in Iowa validated the jury's verdict, confirming the validity of our '201 patent," said Rob Grubka, Head of Product, Retirement Solutions, Lincoln Financial Group. "We are dedicated to providing innovative insurance and retirement solutions that help customers secure their financial futures. We regard our patents and product solutions as valuable assets and we intend to vigorously protect our intellectual property against infringement."
Lincoln filed its first patent for administering income guarantees in 1998. Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the appropriate issuing company
About Variable Annuities
Variable annuities are long-term retirement planning vehicles that can offer tax deferral, a lifetime income and death benefits to help meet financial needs and goals. Tax deferral allows any investment gains to grow with no taxes due until withdrawal. The values will fluctuate in accordance with the performance of the investments and when withdrawn, may be worth more or less than the original cost. Withdrawals may be subject to surrender charges and to ordinary income tax along with withdrawals prior to age 59 1/2, a 10% IRS penalty may also apply.
An investor should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of the variable annuity and its underlying investment options before investing. The product prospectus and underlying fund prospectus contain this and other important information and should be read carefully. Investors should request a prospectus from their registered representative.
Variable annuity contracts are issued by The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company, Fort Wayne, IN, distributed by Lincoln Financial Distributors, Inc., and offered by broker/dealers who have selling agreements. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company is not authorized in, and does not solicit business in, the State of New York.
For residents of New York, variable annuity contracts are issued by Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York, Syracuse, NY, distributed by Lincoln Financial Distributors, Inc., and are offered by broker/dealers who have selling agreements. The Lincoln National Life Insurance Company and Lincoln Life & Annuity Company of New York are independently responsible for their own contractual and financial obligations. Products and features are subject to state availability.
About Lincoln Financial Group
Lincoln Financial Group is the marketing name for Lincoln National Corporation (NYSE:LNC) and its affiliates. With headquarters in the Philadelphia region, the companies of Lincoln Financial Group had assets under management of $171 billion as of March 31, 2009. Through its affiliated companies, Lincoln Financial Group offers: annuities; life, group life and disability insurance; 401(k) and 403(b) plans; savings plans; mutual funds; managed accounts; institutional investments; and comprehensive financial planning and advisory services. Affiliates also include: Delaware Investments, the marketing name for Delaware Management Holdings, Inc. and its subsidiaries; and Lincoln UK. For more information, including a copy of our most recent SEC reports containing our balance sheets, please visit www.LincolnFinancial.com.