January 14, 2020

Another jury says Wells Fargo infringed on RDC patents

gavelThe Texas jury in a second lawsuit brought by USAA against Wells Fargo also determined that Wells Fargo had willfully infringed on USAA's remote deposit capture (RDC) technology patents. The first lawsuit – with a different jury –  resulted in $200 million in damages; this most recent decision orders Wells Fargo to pay an additional $103 million in damages.

The first lawsuit dealt with autocapture technology, while this one dealt with broader patents, including the technology that reads the check to verify the routing/account numbers and the information submitted by the consumer.

While Wells Fargo has not formally requested an appeal in either lawsuit, the bank in December filed a motion with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas asking the court to stay the judgement in the first case pending any post-judgment motions. While the bank still has not indicated whether it will appeal that decision, in another sealed motion, Wells Fargo has asked for a new trial in the first case. No motions have been made in the second case.

NAFCU is also monitoring a request from the vendor that provides Wells Fargo, and thousands of other financial institutions, with RDC technology for a federal judge in California to issue judgment that its technology does not infringe on USAA's patents.

NAFCU Executive Vice President of Government Affairs and General Counsel Carrie Hunt previously discussed unresolved legal questions relating to RDC patent litigation in a message to member credit unions, noting that credit unions often "offer RDC to members through a vendor or third-party’s software."

The association will continue to actively monitor these lawsuits collectively and any open claims for potential implications on credit unions and encourages credit unions to review contracts with third-party vendors that provide RDC software to determine how indemnity is addressed. More information on RDC litigation is also available in a Compliance Blog post.