Dallas, Texas 09/30/2013 (Financialstrend) – On September 25 Visa Inc (NYSE:V) along with its competitor MasterCard Inc. (MA) won a qualified reprieve from court ruling by U.S. District Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald. The judge ruled that the two companies did not infringe any patent owned by technology development firm SmartMetric Inc. (SMME).
SmartMetic had filed suit seeking $13.4 billion in damages from the two companies two years back. In his tentative ruling Judge Fitzgerald said “I don’t see there’s anything to determine here for a jury.” The final ruling has been reserved for later in October.
This was a second legal battle SmartMetric has fought with Visa and MasterCard in the past few years. SmartMetric claims that Visa and MasterCard have infringed its patent for an algorithm which manages and safeguards the automatic connection of card users to a network. The lawyer representing SmartMetric, Patrick Bright explained that the patent in question is centred on the “process by which the payment system selects a network for a card transaction.” As damages SmartMetric was pushing claims for a royalty of 25 percent from savings Visa and MasterCard would potentially generate by using this technology in the U.S.
This technology is already being used in Europe. It consists of a microchip in place of the traditional magnetic strip on the cards which are used to access the payment system.
Visa and MasterCard argued that their systems do “fundamentally different things” than what’s protected by the patent. As earlier mentioned SmartMetric has taken the two companies to court on similar allegations in the past and that judgment too had gone against the firm.
Company has a market capitalization of $152 million with over 8500 employees. The share price of the stock has gone up by 10% in the past 30 days.