MasterCard Settles NFC Lawsuit with Payvox

By James Hickey, Managing Editor, RFIDJournal.com

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  • Details of the agreement were not disclosed
  • MasterCard was one of eight companies sued by Payvox

Payvox has reached an agreement in one of their lawsuits over patent infringement related to their use of NFC technology.

According to a filing on May 10, “the Court has been advised that the parties have reached an agreement in the matter” for the lawsuit against MasterCard. The order did not disclose the settlement. Representatives for both sides did not respond to attempts to contact them in regards to the settlement.

The New Mexico-based company Payvox LLC sued eight global technology and finance firms— Apple, Block (formerly known as Square) MasterCard, Motorola Mobility, Samsung, Visa, Sony and HMD Global (makers of Nokia phones)—for patent infringement related to their use of NFC technology.

NFC Patents in Question

The lawsuits filed focused on two U.S. patents related to processing an advertisement via an NFC tag—Patent 8788360 and Patent 8788362, both titled Systems and Methods for Automated Mass Media Commerce.

The technology in question relates to those used to activate an RFID (NFC) reader in a portable communications device, such as a smart mobile or cellular phone, to receive information from the radio frequency signal associated with the advertisement to identify a vendor, product or service.

The two patents in question are among 17 patents related to NFC technology use that date back to 2010 and later. The patents originated with Harvest One Media and were subsequently assigned to TTN Holdings. The plaintiffs alleged MasterCard infringed on both patents through its MasterCard Tap on Phone contactless payment system.

Payvox History

Payvox was formed in Albuquerque on January 19 of this year as a patent licensing service. The company, who has no publicly listed members. is being represented by Isaac Rabicoff of Rabicoff Law, LLC, a firm that specializes in IP disputes.

According to the lawsuits filed over the last two months, the suit against Apple claims infringement of the two patents through the provision of NFC-enabled smartphones, including the iPhone XS and iPhone 14. It charges Block with infringing on one patent based on the payment company’s Square Point of Sale app. HMD was targeted for infringement on one patent based on its Nokia 3.4 smartphone.

Another complaint claims Samsung infringed on one patent through the provision of its Galaxy A42 5G smartphone, and Sony is also charged with infringement of one patent with its Sony Xperia 1 smartphone. Finally, Visa, the complainant says, infringed on both patents through the provision of the Visa Tap to Phone contactless payment system.

Lawsuits Across the U.S.

The Samsung and Sony suits were filed in the Eastern District of Texas have been assigned to chief judge Rodney Gilstrap, The Block case is under the jurisdiction of district judge Arun Subramanian; and the MasterCard suit, was assigned to District Judge Analisa Torres, both filed on February 22.

On the same date the Apple suit was assigned to Western District of Texas; and on February 23 Visa, District of Delaware judge Richard Andrews.

On February 23 suit was filed against HMD in the Southern District of Florida under judge Darrin P Gayles. A motion for extension of time to respond was filed March 19.

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