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Visa Sued By E-Pass For Patent Infringement

by Glen Shapiro, LawAndTax-News.com, New York

13 November 2003


It has emerged this week that E-Pass technologies has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against credit card firm Visa's international and US operations, arguing that executives from the latter stole patented ideas for the creation of a portable e-commerce device from the smaller organisation.

In its complaint, filed with a California Federal court, E-Pass alleges that Hardy Hennige, patent holder and product developer with the technology firm, met with Visa's vice-president of product development, Susan Gordon-Lathrop in February 2000.

During the meeting, Mr Hennige alleges that he distributed his patent to Visa executives, and discussed possible ways in which it could be commercialised.

Although he heard no more on the matter from the credit card company on the matter, he alleges that nearly a year later, Ms Gordon-Lathrop demonstrated an invention using one of his patents at the 2001 Consumer Electrics Show.

Visa is expected to respond to the complaint later this week.


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