The high stakes patent battle between inComm and Blackhawk grinds on. inComm sued Blackhawk for infringing on a patent that covers the process by which a prepaid card is purchased and activated at the point of sale. As this press release indicates, the battle remains in the very early stages and the final outcome isn’t likely to be known anytime soon:
InComm, the leader in sales and marketing of prepaid products and innovator of transaction processing, responds to the recent grant by the United States Patent and Trademark Office of Blackhawk Network’s request for ex parte reexamination of InComm’s United States Patent No. 7,578,439.
The submission of a request for patent reexamination to the USPTO is a procedural tool commonly used by defendants in patent litigation. The USPTO’s decision to hear defendant Blackhawk Network’s request for reexamination is neither a decision on the merits of the ‘439 patent’s validity, nor is it unusual or significant. Current statistics show that the USPTO grants at least 95% of similar reexamination requests, yet only a minimal percentage of such requests result in patent invalidation. The granting of this request is not expected to delay or otherwise impact the trial scheduled for December 2011.
InComm is proud of its patent portfolio, which includes 29 domestic U.S. and 45 international patents, and is confident the reexamination of the ‘439 patent will confirm its strength and validity.
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