Apple, Visa face patent infringement lawsuit over Apple Pay

2017-05-23 07:12 - Christopher Yasiejko, Bloomberg News
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A worker demonstrates Apple Pay inside a mobile ki

A worker demonstrates Apple Pay inside a mobile kiosk. (Pic: File, AFP)

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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.

Apple spokesperson 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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