Alexsam, Inc. v. Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Gap, JC Penney, McDonalds, et al.(E.D. Tex. 2013)
Alexsam has asserted its gift-card patents against a host of accused infringers. U.S. Patent Nos. 6,000,608 and 6,189,787. These patents have been the subject of multiple reexamination requests but the USPTO has repeatedly confirmed patentability and refused to re-re-examine. Here again a jury has confirmed that the patent is valid. In the case against the defendants here, the court held a single trial for validity and will next hold separate trials on infringement for each accused infringer. Meanwhile, Best Buy settled after losing on validity.
The company Alexam was founded by the inventor Robert Dorf who filed for patent protection back in 1997. Asserted Claim 1 of the '787 patent reads as follows:
1. A multifunction card system, comprising:
a. at least one electronic gift certificate card having a unique identification number encoded on it, said identification number comprising a bank identification number approved by the American Banking Association for use in a banking network, said identification number corresponding to said multifunction card system;
b. a bank processing hub computer under bank hub software control and in communication over a banking network with a pre-existing standard retail point-of-sale device, said bank processing hub computer receiving electronic gift certificate card activation data when said electronic gift certificate card is swiped through said point-of-sale device, said electronic gift certificate card activation data comprising said unique identification number of said electronic gift certificate card and an electronic gift certificate activation amount; and
c. a gift certificate card computer under gift certificate card software control and in communication with said bank processing hub for activating a gift certificate card account in a gift certificate card database corresponding to said electronic gift certificate card, said gift certificate card account comprising balance data representative of an electronic gift certificate activation amount.