Apple, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Officemax and several other companies recently found themselves on the receiving end of a lawsuit that claimed they use patented technology without authorization in their online store payment systems. Actus, the company that owns the patents in question, is alleging that the concept of storing data so customers can make online purchases after creating a user account belongs to it, so the companies it is suing need to pay up.
Like nearly every other company, Actus filed its suit in the patent case-friendly town of Marshall, Texas. The U.S. District Court offices in Marshall have a reputation for favoring plaintiffs in patent violation cases.
The Actus patents, titled "Method and apparatus for conducting electronic commerce transactions using electronic tokens," describe a system where shoppers buy or rent products online using a pre-paid account or stored credit card information. For Apple's part, the company is presumably referring to iTunes Allowances payment system.
Actus points specifically to Apple's online store, the iTunes Store and what it calls the "iPhone Apps Store." The company is asking the court to award it repayment for legal expenses along with damages.
[Thanks to AppleInsider for the heads up.]