In recent weeks, NAFCU has heard from multiple credit unions who have received letters from a firm alleging that the credit union’s remote deposit capture function infringes on USAA’s patents in this area. As widely reported in many news outlets, USAA started developing RDC technology in 2005 and now holds about 50 RDC-related patents. In 2012, USAA was involved in a dispute with another RDC provider, where the parties claimed each side infringed on the other’s patents. The case ultimately ended in a settlement in 2014. Then, in 2017, noting that USAA wanted to “work toward recovering the investment” the institution made in RDC technology, USAA began sending letters to financial institutions via a law firm called Epicenter Law. In more recent months, credit unions have also started to receive similar correspondence.
Specifically, the letters “invite” the credit union to pay a licensing fee (unspecified in amount) to patent USAA’s rights that are allegedly infringed by the credit union’s RDC program. While the letters stress that the attorneys “are not litigation counsel” but rather focus on negotiating “patent licensing deals,” the issue is still raising questions from credit unions.
continue reading »