An Eastern District of Texas jury has reportedly delivered another win for United States Automobile Association (USAA) in its mobile check deposit litigation, returning a $218M verdict in the plaintiff’s favor and against PNC Financial Services. The jury also found PNC’s infringement to be willful, opening the door to enhanced damages (by up to a factor of three). Trial began last Monday, more than two years after juries from the same district returned verdicts—in November 2019 and January 2020—against Wells Fargo that together awarded USAA $302M for infringement of some of the patents just tried before District Judge Rodney Gilstrap.
An Eastern District of Texas magistrate judge has recommended the dismissal of an Alice defense raised by PNC Financial Services, holding that a set of patents asserted against it by USAA are not directed to unpatentable subject matter. On May 3, Magistrate Judge Roy S. Payne concluded instead that the patents claim technological improvements related to certain aspects of mobile deposit capture technology, citing a series of prior rulings in USAA’s litigation against Wells Fargo. Judge Payne’s report and recommendation—the latest in a recent flurry of decisions on evidentiary and legal issues raised by the parties—came shortly before trial, which is set to begin today before District Judge Rodney Gilstrap.
United States Automobile Association (USAA) has filed a third complaint against PNC Financial Services (2:20-cv-00319) in the Eastern District of Texas, as the tug-of-war between that district and the Western District of Pennsylvania, where PNC filed a declaratory judgment action against USAA, has come to somewhat of a standstill. On June 1, Pennsylvania District Judge Joy Flowers Conti stayed the PNC case before her, rather than transfer it to Texas outright, “because some of the public and private interest factors weigh in PNC’s favor”. The stay will hold until Texas District Judge Rodney Gilstrap’s resolution of a PNC motion to transfer out of that court, pending since January of this year.
This past February saw the end of mobile check deposit litigation between patentholder United States Automobile Association (USAA) and defendant Wells Fargo, in the wake of two Eastern District of Texas jury verdicts awarding the plaintiff a combined amount in excess of $300M. The campaign, however, continues, with a two-venue dispute between USAA and PNC Financial Services expanding from four patents-in-suit, all held by USAA, to ten, two of the additional assets asserted in a new complaint filed against PNC and the four others asserted through PNC counterclaims pleaded along with an answer that the defendant filed in Texas.
Two Eastern District of Texas jury verdicts of willful infringement and a barrel full of posttrial briefs later, United States Automobile Association (USAA) and Wells Fargo have apprised District Judge Rodney Gilstrap that the parties have reached a settlement. On February 12, a stay was requested, to finalize matters, which will leave unanswered whether the court would have disturbed any of the two juries’ findings—or enhanced the large dollar damages awarded to USAA.