SmartMetric Inc. is seeking funding for future expansion, marketing efforts and to cover potential legal costs as the company seeks to extend its patent infringement lawsuit against Visa Inc. and MasterCard Inc.

The Florida-based company wants to raise $5 million to continue developing its biometric-based payment and identification card technology, CEO Chaya Hendrick announced Nov. 1. SmartMetric produces smart cards for use primarily in Argentina and Israel.

Undeterred that the California District Court ruled in favor of Visa and MasterCard last month, SmartMetric quickly took steps to continue its fight. The company's patent on routing technology is at the core of SmartMetric's legal fight against the major card brands.

"We have filed our appeal on the patent infringement ruling," SmartMetric CEO Chaya Hendrick stated in a phone interview.

SmartMetric is seeking $13.4 billion for the alleged use of its technology for chip-based debit and credit cards.

In his ruling against SmartMetric on Oct. 2, Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald declared that SmartMetric had presented only "piecemeal similarities" in its claims against the card brands, saying the defendants were not using the patent and "no reasonable jury could conclude otherwise."

But Hendrick says a subsequent Oct. 17 ruling was favorable to SmartMetric because the court preserved the validity of its patent, called 464, and allowed the security technology company to pursue an appeal of the court's earlier ruling.

"The card brands say they are not issuing cards with our patent, so they don't own the technology," Hendrick says. "They claim they introduced EMV technology and set up the accreditation to the banks."

Visa declined to comment on the Oct. 17 ruling. MasterCard did not respond to inquiries.

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