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Bizmodeline, an intellectual patent company, has claimed that Apple Pay infringes on a patent that it applied for in 2005. The company, which reportedly holds over 1,500 patents, has not initiated legal proceedings against Apple, but has sent emails to South Korean Apple Pay service providers, including Hyundai Card, Shinhan Card, KB Card, and Hana Card.
According to the patent application, the technology involves a user bringing a cellphone close to a payment terminal. A token for one-time verification is then generated on the phone, and that code is sent over NFC to the terminal. Once received, the credit card issuer’s server is then sent the code, and payment is processed. Bizmodeline claims that Apple Pay works almost identically to its filing.
It is not clear whether Bizmodeline was ever granted the patent, nor whether it was applied for in the United States. However, Bizmodeline is listed against 15 patents in the US, mostly related to password management, representing just 1% of the patents it holds worldwide.
If Bizmodeline does pursue a legal case against Apple over this alleged patent infringement, it is also unclear how it will deal with RFCyber. The patent holdings firm filed a lawsuit against Apple over similar issues in 2021.
The implications of this claim, if it gains traction, could be significant for both companies. For Bizmodeline, enforcing its patents could lead to a substantial financial windfall. For Apple, it could mean having to pay out a significant settlement or entering into a licensing agreement with Bizmodeline.
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This case is just one example of the complex and often murky world of patent litigation, where companies often engage in “patent trolling” or asserting patents against others without necessarily using them to make products or services. It remains to be seen whether Bizmodeline’s claim will hold up in court, but it is sure to be closely watched by industry insiders and patent experts alike.