A Massachusetts-based company called Universal Secure Registry is suing both Apple and Visa for alleged patent infringement related to Apple Pay, Apple’s digital payments platform.
The company’s CEO, Kenneth Weiss, is the inventor of the SecurID card used in RSA’s authentication platform. He also purportedly had been tinkering with multiple technologies that eventually found their way into Apple Pay, though neither Apple nor Visa ever licensed them.
Weiss alleges that in 2010 he approached both companies regarding 13 patents he held, at least some of which pertained to smartphone-based biometric authentication and the use of one-time tokens in financial transactions. Weiss says Visa agreed to a 10-year non-disclosure agreement regarding his technology and had its engineers parse through his intellectual property, but did not proceed with any further agreements, while Apple ignored his pitches. Visa and Apple subsequently teamed up to collaborate on Apple Pay, which uses Apple’s Touch ID fingerprint scanning system to confirm transactions, and also employs tokenization security from Visa.
With its lawsuit, USR is now seeking financial compensation and to block unauthorized use of its technology, but in a recent interview Weiss said he is still hoping to come to terms with Apple and Visa directly.