A federal court decided Wells Fargo violated USAA’s patent rights for remote deposit capture. We know some of you received “love letters” in the past from USAA, advising you are violating these patents by using remote deposit capture provided by your vendor. There are some possible serious ramifications from this decision.
USAA issued a press release that makes it clear it will continue to press its claims:
“Nearly every U.S. bank and credit union uses this [RDC] technology, benefiting some 87 million U.S. consumers. USAA continues to seek opportunities to create reasonable and mutually beneficial licensing agreements with banks and credit unions for use of USAA’s mobile remote deposit capture process.”
It will still take time to determine if this case will continue or be appealed and what could happen on appeal. If sustained, USAA will certainly be contacting everyone using remote deposit capture about paying a license fee to continue to use it.
We do not know, yet, if there is an alternative technology. There may be, but if you get a love letter, our advice is to make sure you promptly send it to your current vendor, advising your vendor that you expect them to indemnify and hold your credit union or bank harmless from any patent infringement claims.
Your vendor contracts probably contain a patent infringement indemnity provision and the key requirement to make sure that provision applies to protect you is to provide the vendor prompt notice of any claim. Your vendor management program should insure you have this provision in all of your technology vendor contracts.
If you send any letter you get from USAA to your vendor, send a cover letter with it that says you expect the vendor to indemnify your credit union or bank according to your agreement. Send the letter by certified mail, return receipt, and keep it in your folder.
Then we’ll all wait to see how this plays out.
If you have any specific questions or concerns, we recommend you contact your lawyer, as we cannot provide legal advice.
Maple Street, Inc.