An inventor claiming to hold a patent on nonfinancial functions delivered through automated teller machines is stepping up his legal dispute with Cardtronics Inc.

David Barcelou and his Transaction Holdings Ltd. Inc. filed a lawsuit last week alleging that the Houston ATM operator is infringing on his patents for multipurpose automated transaction machines.

Barcelou's suit claims that he holds the patent for combining ATM services with nonbanking retail functions, and that Cardtronics is doing exactly that with its 5,700 multipurpose Vcom ATMs, which are installed at 7-Eleven Inc. convenience stores around the country.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware, in Wilmington, asks for royalty payments and damages from Cardtronics.

The dispute dates to 2006, when Barcelou alleged in a similar lawsuit that Cardtronics and 7-Eleven infringed on his company's patent for off-site financial transactions.

The multifunction Vcom machines can handle a variety of transactions, including paying bills, cashing checks and selling money orders.

Cardtronics, which operates more than 25,000 ATMs nationwide, was operating the 7-Eleven ATMs under contract until 2007, when it acquired the entire Vcom operation from IYG Holdings Co. for $135 million. IYG and 7-Eleven also are named as defendants in the latest suit, as is Vcom Financial Services, the maker of the machines.