Square Charged with Patent Infringements by Unwired Planet

Though Square is the largest and most powerful mobile payment company in the United States, it doesn’t mean that they are immune to lawsuits. The latest charges come from the company Unwired Planet that has asserted that Square has infringed on three mobile patents that they own and have taken the matter to the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada. This is just the latest lawsuit filed against the company since taking the lead in the mobile payment revolution.Targeting both Square’s location-based services and their payment processing, Unwired Planet states the following: "Square generates substantial revenues from mobile payment technology that relies on the intellectual property that Unwired Planet developed and patented many years ago. We are seeking reasonable compensation for continued use of this technology. While our first choice is to reach a licensing arrangement without litigation, we have determined that enforcement is necessary in this instance.”

The patents in question for this case are as follows:

  1. United States Patent No. 7,711,100, entitled "System and Method for Controlling Financial Transactions Over a Wireless Network," asserted against Square Wallet. This patent generally relates to location-based, financial transactions made by wireless devices.
  2. United States Patent No. 7,376,433, entitled "Subscriber Delivered Location-Based Services," asserted against Square Wallet. This patent generally relates to location-based merchant selection and transactions made by wireless devices.
  3. United States Patent No. 8,275,359, entitled "Wireless User Based Notification System," asserted against Square Wallet and Square Register. This patent generally relates to location-based mobile device notifications.

Though it is unclear at this moment if the charges are true in part or in whole, but Square’s reluctance to offer a deal in the way of a licensing deal gives a clear picture that Square disagrees with their assertions. Only time will tell how the litigation fairs out for either company, but as most of the other lawsuits brought against Square it is likely that this one too will disappear quietly into the night; whether settled or just out-muscled.