Claiming it cannot be sued in federal court, a Florida state agency asked for immunity last week from a patent infringement suit filed against it by College Savings Bank, Princeton, N.J.
College Savings, which in 1988 patented a method to fund the payout on its so-called college CDs, sued last year, charging patent infringement by a Florida agency that offers a similar product. The case is scheduled for trial next year in U.S. District Court in Trenton, N.J.
In a motion last week, the Florida Prepaid Postsecondary Education Expense Board said the court lacks jurisdiction in the case.
"They don't want to be accountable to anyone," said Peter A. Roberts, chairman of College Savings. "They want to be above the law."
Officials at Florida Prepaid were not available for comment.
The CollegeSure CD is the only product sold by College Savings. It has attracted $98 million in deposits from customers in all 50 states. Florida Prepaid has $1.5 billion of deposits.