SOURCE: Every Penny Counts, Inc.

February 15, 2007 16:29 ET

Every Penny Counts® Sues Bank of America and VISA

CAPE CORAL, FL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- February 15, 2007 -- On January 25th, Every Penny Counts, Inc. (EPC), an intellectual property company, filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Bank of America (BOA) and VISA, for commercializing the "Keep the Change" program, which is an infringement of EPC's U.S. Patent 6,112,191 (referred to as the "Rounder Patent" in the Complaint).

EPC's attorneys, Phelps Dunbar (, filed the patent infringement suit in the United States District Court for Middle District of Florida, Fort Myers, FL.

In regard to the development of the "Keep the Change" program, the following is a quote from Business Week dated June 19, 2006:

"In October, 2005, Bank of America brought out a radically different product that broke the paradigm. It's called 'Keep the Change.' The concept solves a critical banking problem -- how to get consumers to open new accounts. The product works like this: Every time you buy something with a BofA Visa debit card, the bank rounds up your purchase to the nearest dollar and transfers the difference from your checking into your savings account. It also matches 100% of transfers for the first three months, and 5% of the annual total, up to $250 a year. Since the launch, 2.5 million customers have signed up for 'Keep the Change.' Over 700,000 have opened new checking accounts and 1 million have signed on for new savings accounts.

"How did Bank of America create 'Keep the Change?' In the spring of 2004, it hired an innovation and design research firm in Palo Alto, Calif., to help conceive of and conduct ethnographic research on boomer-age women with children. The goal was to discover how to get this consumer segment to open new checking and savings accounts."

EPC's complaint alleges the following: In December 1993 EPC described the innovative and convenient "savings/investing/donating" program in a patent application that was approved and issued in August 2000 as U.S. 6,112,191 (the "Rounder Patent"). The "Keep the Change" program is an infringement of the Rounder Patent. Both Bank of America and VISA were aware of the Rounder Patent several years before the spring of 2004, but chose to willfully infringe the Rounder Patent.

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