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Tuesday, November 9, 2010

InComm adds new claim to patent infringement suit

On Oct. 28, 2010, Atlanta-based prepaid card distributor InComm said it filed another patent infringement claim against Pleasanton, Calif.-based gift card mall operator Blackhawk Network. InComm asserted that Blackhawk infringes on its U.S. Patent No. 7,630,926, entitled "Inserting Value Into Customer Account at Point of Sale Using a Customer Account Identifier."

InComm, which reportedly owns 29 domestic and 45 international patents, said this new claim amends its original lawsuit that argued Blackhawk infringed on another InComm patent, U.S. Patent No. 7,578,439 (the '439 patent).

In September 2010, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) announced that it was reexamining the '439 patent based on Blackhawk's request. Blackhawk asserted that "substantial new questions existed regarding the patentability" of what InComm claims in the '439 patent. Blackhawk was pleased the USPTO agreed to reexamine the patent.

InComm countered that it wasn't unusual that the USPTO decided to reexamine the patent, since it grants at least 95 percent of such requests, but only a "minimal percentage of such requests" result in a patent being rendered invalid.

InComm said the patent infringement lawsuit trial is scheduled for December 2011. end of article

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