A worker demonstrates Apple Pay inside a mobile kiosk. (Pic: File, AFP)
New York - Apple and
Visa are facing claims by Universal Secure Registry, a small
Boston-area company, that their mobile-payment partnership infringes
four of its patents.
In a federal lawsuit filed in Wilmington, Delaware, USR said it sent
Apple a series of letters in 2010 describing its patented technology and
seeking a partnership long before Apple Pay’s debut. One letter
detailed USR’s patent for using biometrics to authenticate identity on a
smartphone, according to the complaint filed on May 21.
Kenneth P. Weiss, chief executive of USR, also pursued a partnership
with Visa around the same time, engaging “in a series of confidential
discussions with senior representatives”, according to the filing. Both
Apple and Visa shunned USR’s offers in favour of a partnership with each
other to incorporate the technology into Apple Pay.
According to the complaint, when Apple publicly announced its Apple
Pay service in September 2014, the company “touted the same benefits
that USR had introduced to Apple and Visa in 2010”.
“Just as USR disclosed to Apple and Visa that its patented technology
eliminated the need to store or transmit payment-card account numbers,
Apple bragged to its users that with Apple Pay ‘the credit card isn’t
stored on the device’,” lawyers for USR said in the complaint.
Josh Rosenstock, and Amanda Pires, a spokesperson for Visa, both declined
to comment on the complaint. USR, based in Newton, Massachusetts, wants
cash compensation and an order that would block further unauthorised
use of its inventions.
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