For Immediate Release: Contact: Eric Wetzel
October 13, 2005 512-474-7514
Defendants Fail in Attempts to Change Venue of
DataTreasury's Patent Litigation
Citigroup and Viewpointe Archive Services voluntarily withdraw legal actions
Melville, NY – DataTreasury Corporation, a small check-processing company, announced today the voluntary self-dismissals of Declaratory Judgment Actions filed by Citigroup and Viewpointe Archive Services, both of which are defendants in patent-infringement lawsuits filed by DataTreasury in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas. According to Ed Hohn, lead attorney for DataTreasury, these actions were blatant attempts to move the litigation to forums these defendants assumed would be friendlier: the Southern District of New York in Citigroup's case and the Northern District of Texas in Viewpointe'’s. Neither attempt was successful. Viewpointe dismissed its action soon after Judge Ed Kinkeade of Dallas transferred it to the Eastern District of Texas, denying a Viewpointe motion to stop DataTreasury from suing it in the original jurisdiction, and Citigroup filed its dismissal five days after counsel for DataTreasury wrote a letter to Judge Victor Marrero of New York, informing him of the East Texas litigation. Both cases are now back where they started.
"Citigroup and Viewpointe Archive Services tried to bust out of the corral, but they've been herded back," said Mr. Hohn, a partner with the Texas-based law firm Nix, Patterson & Roach, LLP. "Frankly, it's not the sort of move one would expect from defendants comfortable with their claims of non-infringement. In any case, we hope that the other defendants will think twice before wasting the Court's time in this frivolous manner and embarrassing themselves in the process."
DataTreasury has accused Citigroup, Viewpointe Archive Services, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, Wachovia and a number of other financial-services companies of willfully infringing U.S. Patent Nos. 5,910,988 and 6,032,137, which were issued to DataTreasury in 1999 and 2000 for image capture, centralized processing and electronic storage of document and check information. These patents describe a technological process capable of implementing the federally enacted Check Clearing for the 21st Century Act, popularly known as "Check 21." Earlier this year, former defendants JPMorgan Chase and Bank One settled the patent-infringement lawsuits DataTreasury had filed against them, and DataTreasury granted JPMorgan Chase (now the parent company of Bank One) a license to utilize the patents on a worldwide basis. As part of the settlement, each of these banks acknowledged the validity and enforceability of DataTreasury's patents and admitted to having infringed them.
"DataTreasury's business is built on an invention that we believe has been copied by others, and we have been forced to take this matter to court," said Keith DeLucia, chief executive officer of DataTreasury. "In each and every one of these suits, there are two possible outcomes: settlement and licensing or a trial. DataTreasury is willing to go in either direction."
About DataTreasury Corporation
A privately owned company, DataTreasury was formed in 1998 and is built around the patents covering its "Global Repository Platform," which is the world’s most functional and secure informational management system. DataTreasury was issued the patents in 1999 and 2000 for image capture, centralized processing and electronic storage of document and check information. Several countries have recognized the patentability of this technology, and DataTreasury has many other pending patent applications surrounding this system.