Mobile cheque imaging outfit Mitek has raised the stakes in its ongoing legal battle with online army bank USAA to include claims for defamation and unfair business practices.
The dispute between the parties centres on allegations by USAA that Mitek stole its proprietary information from a previous engagement between the two when it later developed its remote cheque deposit software. Mitek in turn is pursuing the bank for alleged patent infringement.
USAA filed suit against the vendor in March in the US Federal Court, Western District, in San Antonio, Texas, alleging "misappropriation of USAA's proprietary information, breach of contract and fraud, among other claims. The bank is also seeking an injunction on Mitek using USAA's intellectual property and unspecified damages, in addition to a recovery of an alleged $381,000 overpayment to the vendor.
Mitek CEO and president James DeBello flatly denies the bank's claims:
"We believe these misrepresentations are damaging to our company and are designed to inhibit Mitek's ability to compete in the marketplace...We have given USAA every opportunity to correct their misstatements, but, unfortunately, it has steadfastly refused to do so."
In its lawsuit, Mitek is seeking monetary damages, injunctive relief, and a finding that USAA "willfully infringed Mitek's patents, breached the parties' license agreement, defamed Mitek and violated the Lanham Act".