Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Florida-based payment technology provider Every Penny Counts Inc. sued Wells Fargo & Co. on patent infringement claims. EPC said the technology it licenses to financial institutions, which allows bank customers to automatically deposit funds into savings accounts when they make debit card transactions, is being infringed upon by Wells Fargo with its Way2Save and Save As You Go banking programs.
EPC said its two patents – U.S. Patent Nos. 7,571,849 (the '849 patent) and 8,025,217 (the '217 patent) – underpin the EPC Bank Rounder program. Banks that employ the program offer their customers a way to round up debit card transactions to the next dollar and have that less-than-a-dollar amount automatically deposited into savings accounts. Alternatively, the program allows customers to add $1 to debit card transactions; that extra $1 is then transferred to savings accounts.
EPC estimates that over 40 million U.S. consumers use rounding technology patented by EPC and Dr. Bertram V. Burke, the company's co-founder and chief executive officer. EPC calls Burke the "Father of Rounding," as well as the "Inventor and Father" of open-loop, network-branded and closed-loop gift card technologies. EPC said Burke filed his first rounder technology patent in December 1993.
Attorney Frank R. Jakes of Tampa, Fla.-based law firm Johnson, Pope, Bokor, Ruppel & Burns LLP, said, "EPC is the holder of very valuable and paradigm shifting intellectual property that has changed and improved the landscape of payment systems throughout the world. Accordingly, our client, EPC, is committed to protecting and enforcing its intellectual property rights against all infringers."
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