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CUs among defendants in mobile banking patent suit
SAN FRANCISCO (9/15/10)--Four credit unions and several banks are among the entities seeking dismissal of a mobile banking patent infringement lawsuit brought by MShift against Digital Insight Corp. (now called Intuit Financial Services or IFS). The defendants' motion to dismiss alleges the patent in question is outmoded and "solves a problem that no longer exists." MShift, a company headquartered in Fremont, Calif., filed the suit initially against Digital Insight on Feb. 19 in the U.S. District Court for the California Northern District (San Francisco). In June, MShift amended its complaint to include the credit unions, eight banks and Mobile Money Ventures, a mobile banking technology provider. The credit unions named in the complaint include Meritrust CU, Wichita, Kan.; Professional FCU, Fort Wayne, Ind.; Fort Worth (Texas) Community CU; and USE CU, San Diego. MShift's suit alleges its patent for a system for converting wireless communications for a mobile device was infringed by Intuit and the others. The patent No. 6,950,881, referred to as Patent '881 in the suit, was granted by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on Sept. 27, 2005, to Awele Ndili, MShift's former CEO. The patent was for a "conversion engine" that provided language to translate the contents of a Web page so it could display on mobile phones. Originally mobile phones were text-based browsers that didn't speak the Web HTML language, and they could not display Web pages the same as the pages displayed on desktop computers, said the complaint. In addition to the translation language, MShift also restructured multiple text boxes, which were graphic features or "input entries," into standard links that could display on the mobile devices. According to the defendants' motion to dismiss the case, none of this technology is necessary today, and there is no "first language" and "second language" involved in conversions because most mobile devices display the pages the same as on desktop--without the need to restructure. The suit claims MShift contracted with Digital Insight as a reseller of its technology. It seeks damages for the patent infringement claim against all the defendants, a breach of contract against IFS, and unfair competition against IFS.


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