Monday, March 19, 2018 (Minneapolis, MN) — Last Friday afternoon, a federal jury in St. Paul delivered its verdict in Solutran v. U.S. Bancorp and Elavon, Inc., a patent-infringement case involving check-processing technology.  The jury found all four claims at issue in U.S. Patent No. 8,311,945 to be valid, and awarded $3.27 million in damages to Solutran against the defendants.  Solutran is represented by Greene Espel PLLP. 

The district court had already decided the issue of infringement in Solutran’s favor. At trial, the jury heard evidence that U.S. Bancorp’s subsidiary Elavon provided its infringing check-processing service to Target Corp., Schnuck Markets Inc., Pilot Travel Center, Barnes & Noble Booksellers Inc., Giant Eagle Inc., Dierbergs Markets Inc., U-Haul International Inc., Mills Fleet Farm, Woods Supermarket Inc., Hitchcocks, The Markets, and C&K Markets. The jury considered U.S. Bancorp’s allegation that the patent claims were invalid in light of prior art and the issue of damages for U.S. Bancorp’s infringement.  The jury’s verdict awarded Solutran lost-profits damages on some of the infringing transactions processed with Elavon’s Outsourced Imaging service and adopted Solutran’s royalty computation for the other transactions.

U.S. Bancorp had previously challenged the ’945 patent’s validity in a Covered Business Method proceeding at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board, but lost that challenge in a decision affirmed by the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals in 2016.  The jury’s verdict of validity was in response to a U.S. Bancorp challenge based on different prior art from that considered in the PTAB proceeding.

“Our client walked a long road to get this case in front of a jury,” said Greene Espel attorney and lead trial counsel Bob Gilbertson. “We appreciated the jury’s close attention over the course of the two-week trial, and are very pleased with the result,” said co-lead trial counsel Sybil Dunlop.  “We will soon file motions asking the court to issue an injunction and seeking other post-trial relief,” said Dunlop. Greene Espel’s David Wallace-Jackson and Eric Ernstene formed Solutran’s trial team with Gilbertson and Dunlop.

About Solutran: Solutran is a Minnesota-based company that is proud of its reputation for stellar service and reliability. Solutran offers a service for paper check processing called SPIN™ (Solutran POS and Imaging Network)—the embodiment of its ’945 patent. Many of the nation’s largest grocers and pharmacies currently use the SPIN™ service. And Solutran also processes several other electronic payment types, such as SNAP, eWIC and Healthy Savings.

About Greene Espel PLLP: Greene Espel is a litigation boutique with a national practice encompassing trials and appeals, investigations and compliance, and dispute resolution and risk management. Its clients include Fortune 50 corporations as well as innovative startups and public-sector entities. To provide its clients with the best possible service, Greene Espel rejected the traditional law-firm model—every attorney has an equal vote in the firm’s management. This unique approach gets results: every Greene Espel attorney is personally invested in its clients’ success.   

Case Coverage:

Law360 (March 23, 2018) -- US Bank Hit With $3.3M Verdict For Infringing Checking Patent


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