Farella Braun + Martel Wins Judgment for Visa USA Inc. of Noninfringement on Prepaid Cards Patents
Claims Dismissed at Markman Hearing
San Francisco (May 28, 2008) - Farella Braun + Martel LLP has won a victory for Visa USA Inc. in a patent infringement suit related to prepaid cards. Judge Richard A. Lazzara in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida entered final judgment of dismissal in favor of Visa after issuing a favorable claims construction ruling on the first morning of a scheduled two day Markman hearing.
Plaintiff Every Penny Counts Inc. filed suit in July 2007, asserting that five patents covering various ways of saving or donating change in consumer transactions were infringed by use of prepaid cards issued under the Visa, American Express and MasterCard brands.
Farella Braun + Martel attorneys Rod Thompson and Eugene Mar represented Visa at the hearing. Key to the ruling were the claim terms "excess cash payment" and "amount of excess cash." Plaintiff Every Penny Counts asserted its patents involved loading money onto the cards and that that amount was "excess" cash for future use. Thompson successfully argued that "excess" referred only to the change received by the consumer and, therefore there is no excess in a prepaid card transaction. Judge Lazzara agreed, construing the term "amount of excess cash" to mean "amount selected by the payer/transactor beyond the total amount owed or due at the point of sale." Plaintiff's lawyer conceded that, given the Court's construction, his client could not prove infringement against any defendant.
About Farella Braun + Martel LLP
Since its founding in 1962, Farella Braun + Martel has achieved a national reputation for the acumen of its business practice, the high profile cases of its complex commercial litigation practice and its prestigious client base. Based in San Francisco, the firm serves a diverse group of clients from multinational corporations to emerging businesses. The firm also has an office in the Napa Valley focused on the wine industry and related businesses. Farella Braun + Martel is a Green Business.
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