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Judge splits card customization patent case for CUs
WILMINGTON, Del. (2/23/12)--A U.S. District Court in Wilmington, Del., has ordered a patent infringement lawsuit brought by a London and New York company against two groups--including credit union service organizations (CUSOs) and credit unions--split and transferred to more appropriate jurisdictions in Iowa and Colorado.

The company suing, Serverside Group, alleges that two groups have products for computerizing card production equipment that infringe on two patents held by the company. The patents describe an invention of "computerized financial transaction card production equipment operable to apply one or more personalized images to a financial transaction card" and the method for applying it over the internet, according to court documents.  The products addressed in the suit include MyPhotoCard, Picture My Card, Design Your Own Card, CreataCard and Cre8 My Card.

One group of six, called the CPI card group, consists of CPI Card Group-Colorado Inc.; CPI Card Group-Minnesota Inc.;  The Members Group Inc., Iowa; Neighbors CU, Missouri; PSCU Financial Services Inc. , Florida; and Anheuser Busch Employees CU, Missouri.  Their products at issue include MyPhotoCard or Design Your Own Card.

The second group sued is Tactical 8 Technologies LLC and Bank Iowa Corp., both based in Iowa. Both groups market the products to credit unions and other financial institutions, the court documents said.

In his order, U.S. District Judge Richard G. Andrews Saturday ordered that claims asserted  against Tactical 8 Technologies LLC and Bank Iowa Corp. be transferred to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Iowa.

He also ordered a March 2 telephone status conference with the other group to determine whether the case will be transferred to the U.S. District Court in Colorado, the state where CPI Card Group-Colorado is headquartered. CPI Card Group-Minnesota, is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Minnesota, which means Delaware would have personal jurisdiction in its case.

Andrews noted in the order that there was no act committed in Delaware that would bring the case under its jurisdiction. "Absent from any of the many exhibits provided by the plaintiffs is any evidence of the sale of a platform by any of the defendants to anyone in Delaware, or any evidence of an offer to sell a platform to anyone in Delaware (or, indeed, to anyone anywhere," said Andrews.

"It is apparent that the plaintiffs scoured the Internet looking for evidence to support personal jurisdiction over the CPI group," Andrews said.  However, he said the absence of evidence is "fairly compelling that the CPI platform technology has not been sold to any Delaware financial institution."

The ruling was on the jurisdiction, not the merits of the infringement claims themselves, said Serverside.


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