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Austin Startup Takes on Apple Pay, Argues Infringement

  • Mar 5 2019

Recently, Fintiv, a young startup located in Austin, Texas, has stepped up to accuse Apple Pay, one of the largest mobile platforms, of patent infringement. Fintiv’s patent was bought from a South Korean firm and targets “management of virtual cards stored on mobile devices.” One of these includes  “provisioning a contactless card in a mobile device with a mobile wallet application.”

Fintiv is claiming, in a lawsuit filed on Dec. 21 in the U.S. District Court in Waco, Texas, that Apple has infringed upon its U.S. patent No. 8,843,125 in three ways: the wallet app on iOS, Apple Watches, and iPhones. The patent related to the management of virtual cards that are stored on mobile devices. It is also claiming that Apple has encouraged its service providers and partners to use those products. Fintiv says that Apple has intended that its partners and operators use its products, which Fintiv says infringes upon at least claims 11, 18, and 23 of the Patent in question.

The company asserts that it reaches 5.4 million people from 60 countries on its mobile payments and marketing platform, due in part to its availability in 12 different languages. Fintiv’s patent, which centers on billing agreements and purchases made online, covers the use and storage of digital wallet data (i.e. billing agreements and online purchases) on mobile devices. Fintiv’s website serves as little help, showing only minimal information, a company overview, and a portal to contact them. The company has sued for monetary damages and prejudgment interest for Apple’s past and continuing infringement of the patent in question.

According to infringement as defined by 35 U.S.C.§ 271(a), a patent is being directly infringed upon through the making, using, selling, offering for sale,  and/or importing infringing products.

Apple Has History of Alleged Patent Infringement

Unsurprisingly, this isn’t the first time that Apple has been challenged on the basis of infringement. The tech giant has faced numerous lawsuits from companies who purchase patents for the sole purpose of alleging infringement against it. For instance, it has also been battling against the chipmaker, Qualcomm, for patent infringement. China even imposed an injunction preventing the sale of certain iPhones. The fact that Apple actually prepared a software update in order to create a workaround demonstrates that Qualcomm’s claim may have had some merit after all.

In July, 2018, Apple was also sued for patent infringement in regards to Siri’s natural speech recognition and prior to that, it was sued by SMTM Technology for patent infringement in regards to its ‘Do Not Disturb’ feature. SMTM’s patents covered “Mobile device inactive mode and inactive mode verification.”

Posted in: Patents