In March 2015, SmartMetric won a dispute with Visa Inc. and MasterCard Worldwide in which the card brands requested that SmartMetric pay them $3 million in court fees and costs in SmartMetric's patent infringement claim against them. The court denied the claim because it didn't find that SmartMetric's litigation lacked legal or factual basis, was frivolous, or that it was taken in bad faith. This is one small action among numerous cases moving through the courts.
This issue's lead article brings to light a phenomenon that often flies under the radar: the glut of patent infringement cases filed against payments industry companies by what are known as "patent trolls," entities not working in the industry that hold often dubious patents, file claims and thrive on settlements reached with businesses that do not want to risk the costs of litigation. It is estimated that 83 percent of patent litigation in our sphere is driven by these trolls, and it costs companies, collectively, $10 billion per year. Federal lawmakers are primed to take action to reform patent laws to limit this abuse.
Our contributing writers have touched upon different sorts of legal matters, including the need to be aware of federal and state requirements imposed on money services businesses and to know whether your company can be classified as such, and the Illinois state's reversal of its decision to deem Square a money transmitter. Other topics addressed by our contributors include ice-breaker questions asked of members of GS Online's MLS Forum, the multiple benefits of today's loyalty programs, and a look at the current economic climate.
In the news, we've covered the recent launch of Android Pay, MyECheck's mobile payment app release, the increased traction of buy buttons among prominent social media enterprises, MasterCard's launch of its Digial Enablement Express, and honorees in the payments sphere who made the 2015 Inc. 500/5000 list.
Also in this issue are updates on payment company awards, expansions, partnerships, research, acquisitions, appointments and other milestones, as well as news of upcoming events, profiles and new product stories, notes on books of interest, and new developments in the mobile sphere.
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