Monday, January 03, 2005

ONE TO WATCH: DATATREASURY CORP. - This holding company has decided to go strong with their patent portfolio, and has started suing big names in the finance industry.

These lawsuits are becoming more common, with the targets being banks or others in financial services (for example, see Trading Technologies and the turmoil their patent are causing). The company, the DataTreasury Corp. of Melville, N.Y., has sued companies that it says have infringed on its two patents, which describe a way to store and retrieve transaction records electronically. Generally speaking, this is already the way that credit card transactions are processed and, increasingly, the way that paper checks are handled, too.

Among the dozen or so companies that DataTreasury has sued are JP Morgan Chase & Co., one of the biggest banks; the First Data Corp., the biggest credit card processor; and the Electronic Data Systems Corp., another big processor.

The suits are wending their ways through courts in Texas that lawyers say are well known for upholding the rights of patent holders (Marshall Texas, perhaps?). They seek unspecified damages, and to ban the companies from using the processing architecture that the patents describe.

This type of litigation is unusual for financial services, which have taken for granted that there are certain basic ways to process payments. Although banks did not bother to patent these systems, others did, especially after a 1998 court ruling broadened the definition of a patent to include business methods and processes. At the time, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office was swamped with technology-related applications, and knew very little about the processing of payments.

2 Comentários:

Anonymous said...

The recent PTO re-examination ruling rejecting all of the claims on both of the DT image patents, takes some wind out their sails. These patents were built entirely on prior art and the will ulitmately be invalidated. Justice for the patent trolls.

Anonymous said...

UPDATE (sorry to the above poster)

News taken from Remote Deposit Capture on 1/27/07:

January 23 2007, Diebold announced they had agreed to license the DataTreasury Patents. Diebold joins a list of ever-growing companies who have decided to settle and/or license these patents from DataTreasury. This list includes JPMorgan Chase, RDM, NetDeposit and others.

Here's the latest news: In January, representatives from DataTreasury met with the USPTO to discuss the previous mentioned rejections (which were set in motion by a challenge from First Data Corp.). A summary of this meeting produced by the USPTO not only seems to reject the argument of prior art in the challenge, but also now provides DataTreasury the opportunity to refine and add additional detail to the claims in their patents.


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