Wednesday, November 13, 2019

District Court - Jury awards $200 million in damages for Wells Fargo's US patent infringement

Here's a sizeable US patent damage award relating to mobile devices. An ED Texas court jury awarded USAA $200 million in damages after finding Wells Fargo willfully infringed its patents that allow customers to use mobile devices to photograph and deposit checks without visiting a branch.

The complaint asserted: US Patent Nos. 8,699,7799,336,5178,977,571, and 9,818,090. I haven't studied these patents, but what jumps out is the substantial disclosure of prior art.

The press release says nearly every US bank and credit union uses this technology, benefiting 87 million US consumers so USAA isn't a patent troll. See press release for details.

Of course, this case is not over yet. Wells Fargo filed petitions for inter partes review (IPR) seeking to invalidate the USAA patents in the USPTO right after the jury decision. Given the stakes, one would expect that IPRs were filed within one year of the service of the patent infringement complaint filed in June 2018. See 35 U.S.C. § 315(b).

PTAB refused to institute covered business method (CBM) which would have permitted an Alice challenge in October 2019.

Copyright © 2019 Robert Moll. All rights reserved.