Intellectual Ventures ("IV"), a patent-holding company founded by the former chief technology officer of Microsoft Corporation, recently began a patent enforcement campaign against the financial services industry. IV purports to have 70,000 patents, $6 billion in committed capital, and more than $3 billion in licensing revenue to date. IV has a history of aggregating a significant number of patents relating to a particular industry and then initiating aggressive litigation and licensing efforts against companies in that industry. IV has sufficient size and substantial resources to pursue its enforcement campaign and poses a considerable economic threat to its target industries, including financial services.
In the last two months, a number of banks were either sued for patent infringement by IV or threatened by IV with possible suits in connection with licensing overtures. IV already has filed suit against eight major banks: The PNC Financial Services Group, First National Bank of Omaha, Fifth Third Bank, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of America, BBVA Compass, Capital One, and Commerce Bank. These lawsuits have been filed in eight different jurisdictions, and each involves a group of patents generally relating to data security technologies and other technologies that are used in processing financial transactions, including PCI security-related matters applicable to credit cards. IV has also sent pre-suit notices to additional banks, and in view of the monetization strategies IV has employed in the past, we expect that this first wave of enforcement activities against financial institutions is part of a broader enforcement effort against the entire banking sector.
Jones Day has significant experience litigating against IV, and we are currently representing a major bank in one of the lead patent suits filed by IV in its assault on the banking industry. We also have represented another client against IV in patent cases pending for more than two years involving over a dozen patents. As a result of this experience—and certain issues that are unique to those particular cases, including the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard and its implementation by financial services institutions—Jones Day is in a position to answer questions you may have regarding IV's enforcement activities against the financial services industry. If you have been approached by IV or would like to visit with Jones Day attorneys regarding IV's enforcement activities against the financial services business, we would be happy to discuss your concerns and risks, in light of our experience and knowledge of both IV and the financial services industry.
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