Checkmate Electronics Inc. said it has received a U.S. patent covering the operation of check magnetic ink readers using power from electronic cash registers.

The patent pertains to the use of a register's keyboard power to drive check readers. Check readers also can be powered by batteries, which recharge themselves when not in use.

Over 300,000 Checkmate readers are in operation in the United States.

"This power patent, combined with Checkmate's patented MICR reading technology, creates a Checkmate lock on core technology for MICR readers at the point of sale," said Jerry P. Malec, president and chief executive officer of Checkmate.

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