USAA sues PNC over mobile check deposit technology

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USAA has filed a lawsuit against PNC Financial Services Group tied to its use of mobile deposit capture technology.

In so doing, San Antonio-based USAA is expanding its legal attack on rival banks that use technology that lets customers deposit checks through their phones. It says it owns the primary patents on such technology. USAA and PNC, in Pittsburgh, each declined a request for an interview.

USAA sued Wells Fargo twice in 2018 over the same issue. It won both cases, which were decided in November and January. Both trials were conducted in Marshall, Texas, a town well known for its patent-friendly court. Wells has been ordered to pay USAA $302.8 million in restitution.

In a press release this week, USAA said it “continues to seek opportunities to create reasonable and mutually beneficial licensing agreements with banks and credit unions for the legal use of USAA’s [remote deposit capture] patents.”

“We have spent significant time and resources transforming our technology from an idea on a whiteboard to the service our members enjoy today and that led to a revolution in consumer banking,” Nathan McKinley, USAA vice president of corporate development, said in the release. “Our goal has always been to be reasonably compensated for the benefits that others in the industry have received from using our RDC patents.”

Wells Fargo and PNC are customers of Mitek, a vendor of mobile check deposit software that’s used by 6,500 other institutions. Mitek did not respond to a request for an interview.

USAA and Mitek filed intellectual property suits against each other in 2012 and settled them two years later. Mitek, which has provided check-image-capture technology for decades and was once a technology partner of USAA’s, says it owns multiple patents on the technology. The company recently petitioned the U.S. Patent Trial and Appeal Board to review USAA’s mobile check deposit patent.

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Mobile banking Digital banking Digital Banking 2020 USAA PNC Financial Services Group Wells Fargo Mitek Systems