Fiserv Inc.’s CheckFree and CashEdge subsidiaries have filed a patent infringement suit against Fidelity National Information Services alleging FIS’s Metavante unit is infringing on Fiserv’s patents for electronic bill payment and presentment and person-to-person payments, which are being used by thousands of credit unions and banks, the technology company announced Jan. 5.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida, cites Metavante's Payment Manager products, which process interbank account-to-account funds transfers, process payment instructions and provide electronic biller notifications as an integral part of its electronic bill payment processes.

“Instead of competing fairly,” says the Fiserv suit, “defendants are exploiting the innovative technologies that CheckFree and CashEdge have worked hard to develop and protect through patents.”

Brookfield, Wis.-based Fiserv said in the lawsuit that it has “devoted significant resources developing and maintaining an extensive intellectual property portfolio.”

“We have a responsibility to protect our intellectual property from further infringement and exploitation,” Fiserv said in the suit.

Specifically, the complaint cites CheckFree’s and CashEdge’s patents on technology that provide electronic biller notifications and/or process account-to-account funds transfers. The suit cites Metavante’s Electronic Payment and Presentment products and services, which it claims infringe on CheckFree’s and CashEdge’s patents for a communication interface associated with a bill presentment and payment central clearinghouse.

CheckFree and CashEdge are asking the court for a permanent injunction barring Metavante from using the technology and unspecified damages.

Officials for FIS did not return a phone call seeking comment at deadline.

Fiserv acquired CheckFree, which Pete Kight created by in his grandmother’s basement in 1981, in a 2007 deal. It acquired CashEdge in 2011 (see story).

FIS acquired Metavante from Marshall & Isley Bank in 2009 (see story).

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