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Florida Patent Holder, Every Penny Counts, Inc., Sues Bank of America for Patent Infringement in Federal District Court in the Middle District of Florida

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Florida Patent Holder and Inventor Files Suit Claiming Patent Infringement by Bank of America's "Keep the Change" ProgramFlorida patent holder and intellectual property company, Every Penny Counts, Inc., has sued Bank of America for patent infringement in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida.  As a Florida patent attorney, I find this case of particular interest.

Every Penny Counts, Inc. is the owner of U.S. Patent No. 6,112,191 which describes a business method patent focusing on a savings/investing/donating program in its patent issued in August, 2000.

This case is just one more in a series of high profile patent infringement actions filed recently that illustrate the importance of securing patents for new business methods.  Patents are not just for "widgets" anymore.  According to a quote in Businessweek:

"In October, 2005, Bank of America brought out a radically different product that broke the paradigm. It’s called ‘Keep the Change.’ The concept solves a critical banking problem — how to get consumers to open new accounts. The product works like this: Every time you buy something with a BofA Visa debit card, the bank rounds up your purchase to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference from your checking into your savings account. It also matches 100% of transfers for the first three months, and 5% of the annual total, up to $250 a year. Since the launch, 2.5 million customers have signed up for ‘Keep the Change.’ Over 700,000 have opened new checking accounts and 1 million have signed on for new savings accounts."

In the Florida patent infringement lawsuit, the Cape Coral, Florida inventor, Bertram Burke, claims that he contacted Bank of America in December 2001 to gage the bank’s interest in a licensing agreement that would allow the bank to use the system to generate new accounts.

The patent infringement complaint is available on Every Penny Counts, Inc.’s website.

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