As if the ADA website compliance lawsuits weren’t enough, we have been hearing from several credit unions that have received an “invitation” from the United States Automobile Association (USAA) to negotiate a patent licensing deal for the use of their Remote Deposit Capture (RDC) technology. The USAA is claiming that it created the RDC technology that is utilized by these credit unions, and that their usage of the product violates one or more USAA patents. While the letters do not threaten litigation, they do “request” that the credit union call to discuss a license agreement.
If you receive a similar letter, it is recommended that you review your RDC vendor licensing agreement, and work with your vendor and outside counsel to determine next steps. Unless your credit union has authored its own RDC software, the risk likely lies with your RDC vendor. I know Emily Post would not approve, but the etiquette rule that you must always RSVP when you receive an invitation may not apply in this case.
If your credit union offers RDC and you have not received a letter, it’s still a good idea to educate yourself on what to do should the circumstance arise. Unfortunately, this is becoming a widespread issue across the country, and many industry trades are predicting this to be the next legal threat facing credit unions. CUNA is offering a free webinar to member credit unions on the USAA RDC letters, which will feature an IP legal expert with extensive knowledge of the issue. The one-hour webinar is this Wednesday, March 21 at 2:00 pm CT. Click here to register (and yes, this one requires an RSVP).