The U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York recently invalidated Western Express Bancshares, LLC’s (Western Express) U.S. Patent No. 8,498,932 relating to a method of transferring funds through a bankcard. This decision was the result of a motion to dismiss a patent infringement action brought by Western Express against Green Dot Corporation (Green Dot) for the sale of allegedly infringing CashBack Visa® Debit Cards, Reloadable Prepaid Visa® Cards, Load Go Prepaid Visa® Cards, and Reloadable Prepaid Mastercard® Cards. Green Dot took the stance that the ’932 Patent is invalid under the landmark 2014 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank, which held that patent claims directed to an abstract idea without any inventive concept are ineligible for a patent under Section 101 of the U.S. Patent Code.
In Western Express the court found that the ’932 Patent is “broadly directed to a ‘method of funds transfer […]’ [and that the] concept of transferring money through a bankcard is similar to other ‘fundamental economic practices’ that the Supreme Court and the Federal Circuit have held [to be unpatentable] abstract ideas.”
To read more about this decision and how it impacts the FinTech industry, visit our FinTech blog.