House of Mouse Lands in Legal Trouble
What is it about?
InCom Corp, a company that provides educational services, in a patent infringement lawsuit filed on 22nd April, 2015 with the federal court, claims that the Walt Disney Company has snagged three of their patents to track what people do and what they buy at the Walt Disney World. The California-based InCom Corp is seeking a jury trial and wants wide-ranging and unspecified damages.
Disney introduced the “Magic Band” back in 2013, despite correspondence from InCom Corp over how similar their technologies are. The aforementioned patents-in-suit are US 8353705, US 7336185, and US 7812779 respectively.
What does a magic band do?
Disney has installed an attendance tracking system at a number of its theme or amusement parks. Magic band system is used, among other systems, to track attendance at each park, on a system known as ‘FastPass’, and to monitor a record of attendees at the parks and Disney hotels.
How is it similar to InCom patents?
InCom Corp developed a technology to help schools, colleges, universities and others to keep track of attendance at events, years ago. The invention covered by the aforementioned patents use Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology to recognize individuals and keep track of their attendance, even when large number of people are entering and/or exiting a location at the same time.
InCom Representative’s comments?
“Disney has deliberately persisted in its infringing acts despite its knowledge of the patent, and as such is willfully infringing,” alleges Thomas J. McDermott on behalf of the 11-year old InCom in the 13-pages of suit filing.
The lawsuit further reads: “As a consequence of the infringing activities of Disney … InCom has suffered monetary damages in an amount not yet determined, and InCom will continue to suffer such damages in the future unless and until Disney’s infringing activities are enjoined by this Court.”
Disney’s response to it?
A Disney spokesperson says, “The lawsuit is without merit, and we will respond to it in court.”
Authored by Ashima Sobti
Contributed by Electronics, Telecommunications, and Software Patent Division of BananaIP in India