November 09, 2006

Last Friday, a jury in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Tennessee ruled that a subsidiary of Comdata Corp. did not infringe a patent regarding the activation of gift cards. Barry Fiala Inc. (“Fiala”) sued Stored Value Systems (“SVS”), now known as Comdata’s Stored Value Solutions, alleging that SVS infringed U.S. Patent No. 5,918,909, entitled “Package for card with data-encoded strip and method of using same.” After a three week trial before Judge Samuel H. Mays, Jr., the jury not only ruled that SVS did not infringe the patent, but also, according to the Comdata press release (link below), the jury “found that patent is invalid for failure to name all of the inventors, and that the patent is unenforceable due to inequitable conduct before the United States Patent and Trademark Office.” In April of 2005, Fiala was successful in its infringement lawsuit against Card USA Inc. In the same Court before Judge Jon P. McKalla, Fiala was awarded over $1.3M in damages for infringement of the same patent.

U.S. Patent No. 5,918,909: LINK
Nashville Business Journal News Article: LINK
Comdata Press Release: LINK
Comdata Website: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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