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

Leftovers: Gaming

Leftovers: Screenshots

New To Linux? Don’t Use Ubuntu, You’ll Probably Like Linux Mint Better

Linux newbies have probably heard a lot about Ubuntu, but it isn’t the only Linux distribution. In fact, Ubuntu’s standard Unity desktop is still controversial among long-time Linux users today. Many Linux users prefer a more traditional desktop interface, and Linux Mint offers that. As Ubuntu focuses more on Ubuntu for phones, Linux Mint may be an even clearer choice in the future. No, Ubuntu isn’t terrible. Some people prefer Ubuntu’s Unity desktop and love it. But you’ll probably have an easier time getting to grips with Linux Mint instead of Ubuntu. Read more

IceCat 31.4.0 release

GNUzilla is the GNU version of the Mozilla suite, and GNU IceCat is the GNU version of the Firefox browser. Its main advantage is an ethical one: it is entirely free software. While the Firefox source code from the Mozilla project is free software, they distribute and recommend non-free software as plug-ins and addons. Also their trademark license restricts distribution in several ways incompatible with freedom 0. https://www.gnu.org/software/gnuzilla/ Read more