LML Patent Corp., a unit of the processor LML Payment Systems Inc., has sued 19 financial companies that it claims are infringing on its patented technology for converting checks into electronic transactions.
The lawsuit, filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, accused the defendants of using elements of its "Checkwriting Point of Sale System" patent, which was granted in April. LML, of Vancouver, Canada, , said in the suit that the companies infringed its patent by "their manufacture, importation, sale, offering for sale, and/or use of payment services."
LML's patent filing with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office describes its technology as "a point of sale system designed to read information from a consumer's check, credit card, or manual input with a subsequent debiting of a consumer's account and crediting merchant's account."
Patrick H. Gaines, LML Patent's chief executive, said in an interview Tuesday that the patent supports more than 100 specific claims for processes used in the electronification of checks.
"We believe many of them are being infringed, whether it be Web-based transactions, lockbox transactions, or others," he said.
The defendants are: JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Wachovia Corp., Citigroup Inc., Bank of New York Mellon Corp., HSBC Holdings PLC, Capital One Financial Corp., eBay Inc.'s PayPal Inc. unit, and 11 others.
A Wells Fargo spokeswoman said there is no "validity to the allegations" and that "we intend to vigorously defend ourselves." Other defendants either declined to comment or did not return phone calls Tuesday.
LML is not the only payment technology company that has filed numerous patent infringement suits against banks.
The processor DataTreasury Corp., claims its patented technology is key for check image exchange. It has sued nearly 50 companies and struck licensing deals JPMorgan Chase, Bank of New York Mellon, and others.