In late January, Caselas, LLC, one of several entities controlled by prolific inventor Raymond Anthony Joao, filed separate Eastern District of Texas lawsuits against Austin Bancorp (Austin Bank) ( 2:21-cv-00016), BTH Bank ( 2:21-cv-00017), First Community Bancshares ( 2:21-cv-00030) Guaranty Bancshares (Guaranty Bank & Trust) ( 2:21-cv-00031), Telco Plus Credit Union ( 2:21-cv-00032), and Texana Bank ( 2:21-cv-00018). The plaintiff asserts in each complaint five patents, generally related to processing information related to an individual's financial history (including "charge-backs") prior to a transaction and transmitting it to the merchant, with the defendants accused of infringement through the provision of financial payment cards.

Caselas was formed in Florida on October 5, 2020 naming Joao—a patent attorney and the sole inventor of the five patents-in-campaign ( 7,529,698; 7,661,585; 9,117,206; 9,117,230; 9,715,691)—as its authorized member. The asserted patents comprise a family of five, issuing between May 2009 and July 2017 and sharing an earliest estimated priority date in January 2001. Joao moved the family from GTJ Ventures, LLC (another Joao-controlled entity, formed in Delaware in February 2012) to Caselas in an assignment dated October 23, 2020.

In its complaints, Caselas pleads that the '585, '206, and '230 patents expired in September 2019 for failure to pay required maintenance fees and that it is seeking damages for infringement prior to the patents' expiration. Joao is a familiar figure, both past and present, to patent prosecution and assertion. After filing two cases in his individual capacity in 2004 and 2005, Joao litigated two separate campaigns against over 150 defendants through Joao Bock Transaction Systems, LLC and Joao Control and Monitoring Systems, LLC, which resulted in litigation that persisted through March 2009 to March 2018 and November 2009 to May 2018, respectively  (For more on these early Joao campaigns, see " Familiar Figure Returns to Litigation, Targeting Smartphone Maps Apps" (February 2020).) More recently, Joao has returned to active litigation. The October 2020 transaction is one of four last year to transfer Joao patents from GTJ Ventures to entities that have subsequently filed suit: NavBlazer, LLC (two patents transferred in January); GreatGigz Solutions, LLC (five patents, in June); and Transcend Shipping Systems, LLC (five patents, also on October 23).

Caselas launched this, its sole litigation campaign, in December 2020, and has since hit 23 defendants, including Altra Federal Credit Union, Broadway Bancshares (Broadway National Bank), Credit Human Federal Credit Union, Eastman Credit Union, Government Employees Credit Union (GECU), NCR (JetPay; NCR Payment Solutions), and University Federal Credit Union (UFCU). To date, the suits against Credit Human, GECU, NCR, and UFCU have each been voluntarily dismissed without prejudice, while the others remain active in the earliest stages.

In each of its complaints, Caselas recounts in some detail the prosecution history of the five-member patent family and pleads defensively against a challenge on the patentability of the underlying subject matter. 1/22, 1/27, Eastern District of Texas.

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