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DALLAS – Digital security firm Entrust has filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Addison Avenue Federal Credit Union in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The firm claims that an authentication system that Addison Avenue deployed infringes on its grid authentication patent. “While Addison Avenue’s actions reinforce the value of grid authentication for protecting consumers from identity fraud, Entrust has a significant investment in the authentication and commercialization of this technology and must protect its intellectual property rights. Grid authentication has seen rapid success as an innovative and cost-effective method for protecting the identities of consumers and employees,” stated Entrust in a press release. Entrust Chief Technology Officer Chris Voice said that he tried to come to a solution outside of the legal system with Addison, but to no avail. “I personally attempted on several occasions to solve this. We did approach them before they launched the service. It does show we take defense of our intellectual property seriously,” said Voice. Entrust claims in its suit that Addison Avenue FCU’s Security KeyCard authentication system infringes on its patent 627, issued back in 1998. The patent covers the process of using a grid type number system. Essentially, an end user will be asked to input numbers from a certain row and column of a grid. Addison Avenue FCU launched its Security KeyCard as part of its two-factor authentication system. Interestingly, Open Solutions Inc. recently unveiled a similar authentication method. Entrust would not comment on Open Solutions’ product and whether it too infringes on its patent. Addison Avenue FCU CEO Steve Lumm did not want to comment too deeply on the case, but did say the credit union is very comfortable in its legal position in the case.

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