by Dennis Crouch
Pollin Patent Licensing v. Commerce Bancshares (E.D.Mo 2013)
The following is a recent Court Order from Judge Audrey Fleissig.
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that this matter shall be stayed pending the decision of the Federal Circuit in CLS Bank Intl v. Alice Corp., 685 F.3d 1341, 1356 (Fed. Cir. 2012), vacated, rehg granted, 2012 WL 4784336 (Fed. Cir. Oct. 9, 2012).
In the lawsuit, Pollin is asserting U.S. Patent No. 7,117,171. Although the company has asserted the patent in at least 17 different lawsuits, it does not appear that any of the accused infringers has filed a request for rexamination or inter partes review. Instead almost all of the cases have ended in settlement.
Pollin’s invention claims priority back to a 1992 application. That means that the patent is now expired. However, Pollin may still be able to collect substantial back damages – so long as the patent is not renedered invalid by CLS Bank. The 1992 invention focused being able to use a checking account to pay for a service without actually writing a check. The claims are broadly written to encompass the operation via the internet (without actually using those words).
Interestingly, it was Pollin who asked for the stay in this case.
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Pollin’s Claim 1 is as follows:
1. A system for generating authorized payments from financial accounts belonging to a plurality of payers, in payment of debts to a payee, comprising:
input means for performing an electronic information input process wherein a system operator contemporaneously enters information sufficient to identify a new payer previously unknown to the system and information specifying a payment to be generated from an account of that payer,
said information including a financial institution identification number, payer account identifier, and an amount to be paid from said payer's account to said payee;
an institutional database comprising financial institution identification information;
institution verification means associated with said input means for receiving said financial institution identification number and comparing said financial institution identification number to entries in said institutional database,
wherein when said financial institution is found in the institutional database, the institution verification means retrieves identifying information about the institution and verifies the accuracy of said financial institution identification number, and
wherein when said financial institution is not found in the institutional database, an error indication is generated; and
output means connected to said input means for receiving said information specifying a payment and generating in electronic information form instructions for said payment to said payee.