Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

US firm claims 30bn Euro banknotes infringe its patent

Filed under
Legal

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
vnunet.com

More in Tux Machines

Peppermint 7 Released

Peppermint 7 launched a few days ago. Peppermint is a lightweight Ubuntu-based Linux distribution with an emphasis on speed and simplicity. Although the name is similar to Linux Mint, the projects aren't directly related. Peppermint originally was envisioned as a "spicier" alternative to Mint—whatever that means! Many distros come with a wide assortment of feature-rich applications, and that's great for power users who need those apps. But older machines can struggle to cope with those demanding distros. Peppermint solves the problem by offering a carefully curated suite of web apps that perform tasks traditionally handled by native apps. It's an approach that will be familiar to any Chromebook users reading this article. Read more

Why I’m Unlikely to Ever Return Microsoft’s Love

Every time I write an article criticizing the depth of Microsoft’s proclaimed love of Linux, as well as questioning the motive behind it, I receive return criticism, often from places I would’ve, in the past, least expected, such as from within the GNU/Linux community. In places like Slashdot, some open source subreddits, and even occasionally on FOSS Force, there are commenters who accuse me of letting the past blind me to the great work that Microsoft is now doing for Linux and open source. Read more

Google open sources SwiftShader

Phoronix on AMD Linux Graphics News