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Table of Contents

Lead Story

Economic hang-ups: Will payments wilt?


Industry Update

Visa shoots for largest U.S. IPO ever

Vermont interchange bill a cry for help

Interchange act coming back stronger

TSYS joins the mobile fray

Data Treasury: Billions in the balance


Jim McMahon

ATMs and a changing biz model

Travis K. Kircher

Optio Solutions LLC. - Kinder, gentler collections

Recessing, depressing economy


Card stripes, prison stripes - security required

Biff Matthews
CardWare International


Street SmartsSM:
Biting the ISO that feeds it

Dee Karawadra
Impact PaySystem

Shower candidates, grow your ISO

Curt Hensley
CSH Consulting Inc.

Secret's out: How to snag merchants

Maxwell Sinovoi
United Bank Card Inc.

PIN-ing profits

Scott Henry

Annihilate attrition

Jeff Fortney
Clearent LLC

Setting the stage for stupendous sales

Daniel Wadleigh
Marketing Consultant

Company Profile

Cutter LLC

New Products

Brand protection the Teleblock way

Teleblock Do-Not-Call Blocking System
Call Compliance Inc.

Software for streamlined processing

Company: NitroSell


Here comes the sun - and the dust pan





Resource Guide


A Bigger Thing

The Green Sheet Online Edition

March 10, 2008  •  Issue 08:03:01

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Data Treasury: Billions in the balance

Some big gloves came off; the duel has been savage. And now the six-year patent infringement lawsuit filed in 2002 by Data Treasury Corp. against Bank of America Corp., Wachovia Corp., Wells Fargo & Co. and Citigroup Inc. is being officiated by Congress.

Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., introduced into the U.S. Senate the Patent Reform Act of 2007, SB 1145, which contains provisions that would free banks of any liability or potential damages awarded to Data Treasury for patent infringement. An identical bill, HR 1908, was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives in September 2007.

The Senate bill is now in committee. If passed, it would become impossible for a patent holder to collect damages from any United States bank found guilty of infringing patents related to electronic check collection and storage.

The U.S. Department of Commerce, in a letter dated Feb. 4, 2008, to Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., stated that "such a dramatic change may reduce the rewards of innovation and encourage patent infringement. The U.S. Patent and Trade Office (USPTO) must preserve the incentive to innovate and continue to offer inventors the opportunity to be adequately compensated and recover their investments."

The bill, as written, would make patents more expensive to acquire and retain. Provisions in S. 1145 would make the following changes to the wording for patent applications and patents:

Claudio Ballard founded Data Treasury in the mid-1990's after he invented technology used to capture, transmit and securely archive images of checks. He filed for two patents covering this process in 1997 and was awarded those patents (U.S. Patent numbers 5,910,988 and 6,032,137) in 1999 and 2000.

The USPTO re-examined Data Treasury's patents at the behest of the banks involved and revalidated them in May and October 2007. The patents were upheld, though passage of Section 14, which specifically addresses Data Treasury, would effectively eliminate any royalties from licensing agreements to which Data Treasury would be entitled.

Section 14 of SB 1145 bears the title, "Limitations on damages and other remedies with respect to patents for methods in compliance with check imaging methods. "The Department of Commerce reportedly does not support such exceptions to patent protection. "This is a challenge to the backbone of entrepreneurship in this country," Ballard said. "We're in danger of killing off innovation."

According to Ballard, when SB 1145 was introduced by Sessions in 2007, Data Treasury was given no notice that this provision was being inserted and given no opportunity to make its case before Congress. Now billions of dollars hang in the balance as both parties await the Senate's vote, which is scheduled for the current congressional session.

Notice to readers: These are archived articles. Contact names or information may be out of date. We regret any inconvenience.

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