Heartland Payment Systems Inc.'s merchant clients may be caught in the middle of a legal dispute between the merchant processor and VeriFone Holdings Inc., which provides payment terminals to most of Heartland's clients.

The two companies have sued each other, with VeriFone claiming that a still-in-development terminal design from Heartland infringes on one of its patents, and Heartland claiming that VeriFone is engaging in unfair trade practices.

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