While USAA requested a declaratory judgement in its lawsuit against Mitek Systems filed on March 29 in a San Antonio federal court, Mitek Systems has countersued in a Delaware court for patent infringement and breach of contract relating to its technology that enables consumers to deposit a check with camera-equipped smartphones and tablets.
“I personally presented our technology to USAA in February 2008 but they are claiming in legal proceedings that they were unaware of Mitek’s patents,” Mitek Systems CEO James DeBello told Insurance Networking News. “We have exact records, e-mails and quotations that illustrate their claims are unjustified. We’ve had a licensee/licensor relationship with them since 2006.”
The declaratory judgement that USAA is seeking would state that its Deposit@Mobile technology did not infringe on Mitek Systems’ five patents.
Although USAA Spokesperson Paul Berry declined to comment to Insurance Networking News, his statement released publicly online on April 2 says, “USAA invented remote deposit capture technology to meet the needs of our highly mobile military membership, enabling them to deposit checks with a scanner or smartphone wherever they may be stationed. USAA has invested substantial time and money in the development and implementation of an invention which has revolutionized the banking industry.”
Trouble between the two companies began when, Mitek Systems alleges, USAA exceeded the terms of its contract during the 1st quarter of 2012. “USAA licensed a component of Mitek’s patented technology, delivered a solution based on our technology and exceeded terms of the contract, which prompted a business discussion that was never concluded,” said DeBello. “Instead, they sued us. It’s disappointing and a surprise. We invented the technology of mobile deposit, patented it and launched it in 2008.”
On their end, USAA alleges in its public statement that Mitek took information, put it into a patent application, launched a product and concealed these events from USAA.
“Mitek misappropriated USAA’s proprietary and confidential information while working under contract for USAA and then took numerous steps to claim it as its own. USAA filed this lawsuit to protect USAA members and our association,” Berry wrote.
“It is a heavy handed tactic to file suits around false claims. We have 12 patents and five are directly to related mobile deposits. We created those from our internal work,” said DeBello, who is demanding a jury trial. “We have a licensing model, and USAA didn’t want to license our technology for the amount that we discussed.”
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