Mobile banking company MShift Inc. has filed a federal lawsuit against Digital Insight and one of its customers, a Louisiana bank, charging them with infringing on an MShift patent.
The suit accuses Digital Insight and Community Trust Bank and its owner, Community Trust Financial Corp. of Ruston, La., of infringing on MShift's patent for the fundamental linking technology between mobile devices and online banking networks.
The action, filed in federal court in the Northern District of California, said Digital Insight and Community Trust is infringing on MShift's "881 patent," described as a "system for converting wireless communications for a mobile device."
MShift said in announcing the lawsuit that the 2005 patent covers the technology used to translate between the software languages used by network sites and that used by mobile phones, technology the company calls "an innovative conversion engine that defines the modern mobile banking experience."
"MShift strongly believes that Digital Insight's mobile banking services, which are not provided by MShift, infringe upon the '881 patent.' This action against Digital Insight and against companies, such as Community Trust Bank, that have chosen to use an infringing technology, demonstrates MShift's ardent commitment to protecting our many years of investment in research and development," said Scott Moeller, CEO of MShift in Fremont, Calif.
"MShift has further filed this action out of fairness to our loyal customers who have paid for the unique advantages of our proprietary technology," Moeller said.
MShift currently provides mobile banking applications to more than 200 banks and credit unions, the company said.
The suit asks the court to order Digital Insight and its customers to stop its alleged infringement on the patent and to pay unspecified damages.
Digital Insight, a subsidiary of Intuit Inc. and provider of online banking and other e-commerce solutions to more than a thousand credit unions and banks, said it will defend itself and its customers.
"At this time, we cannot comment on our relationship with MShift or their recent press release due to pending legal action. We are confident that no Intuit or MMV (Mobile Money Ventures) technologies we supply infringe on MShift's patent, and we firmly believe that MShift's lawsuit lacks merit. As a result we plan to vigorously defend ourselves and our customers against the lawsuit," said Intuit spokesman Tobin Lee.