Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

US firm claims 30bn Euro banknotes infringe its patent

Filed under

A US-based document security firm yesterday claimed that every Euro banknote in circulation infringes on a patent it owns covering anti-counterfeiting technology. In pursuance of its claim Document Security Systems lodged a lawsuit to recover damages “at the rate of a reasonable royalty” from the European Central Bank of Frankfurt, Germany.

In its complaint lodged in the European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg, the company alleges that all Euro banknotes in circulation infringe its European Patent 455750B1, which covers a method of incorporating an anti-counterfeiting feature into banknotes or similar security documents to protect against forgeries by digital scanning and copying devices.

According to the company, this patent was granted and confirmed valid in 1999 by the Technical Board of Appeals of the European Patent Office. The patent was acquired in 2004 by Document Security Systems, Inc. (DSSI), from the estate of the inventor, the late Ralph Wicker, whose son Tom is now chief technology officer of DSSI.

The twelve countries in Europe changed their currency from individual national currencies to the Euro on January 1 2002, and seven denominations of new bank notes were designed and printed. By the end of 2006, which is the earliest that this case might come to trial, the ECB is expected to have printed or caused to be printed about 30bn Euro banknotes, all of which DSSI believes infringe the patent.

Patrick White, CEO of DSSI, claimed: “The Euro is not the only currency utilising our technologies without authorisation. We believe there are a significant number of other currencies and also traveller’s checks that contain our patented technologies on an unlicensed basis. There are also a number of corporations who may be potential infringers. We plan on addressing each and every instance."

The European Court of First Instance is the court in Europe that deals with claims against European Community Institutions such as the European Central Bank. There is one level of appeal, to the European Court of Justice.

By Robert Jaques

More in Tux Machines

Slackel Linux: Not Your Father's Slackware

You might think of the Slackel distro as a better Slackware derivative. Slackware dates back to 1992. By comparison, well-known and well-used distros such as Ubuntu, Fedora and Linux Mint were introduced in the mid-2000s. So Slackware is among the oldest actively maintained Linux distros. Despite its longevity, it has not joined more modern Linux offspring in terms of user friendliness. Read more

Android 6.0 Marshmallow Review: Google Outsmarts Apple By Guessing Your Next Move

It may seem like a big decision, but something tells me the service arms race is going to be a lot like the feature race. Google has the nose on Apple with Google Now on Tap until… Apple figures out a way to borrow it. Read more

Red Hat News

IBM releases Power-based Linux servers with Nvidia GPUs

The Power Systems LC line was introduced by Dr Stefanie Chiras, director and business line executive of IBM scale-out Power Systems, as part of her keynote on the subject of 'waitless computing'. IBM, as a patron of the OpenPower Foundation, has been a staunch supporter of Linux and OpenStack, and this represents a logical step for the company, as it has been building its Power line following the sale of its x86 server business to Lenovo in 2014. Read more