Several years ago, a number of lawsuits were filed in the courts alleging violations of patent infringement on behalf of a plaintiff who claimed rights to the technology involved in bar code scanners (Lemelson et al). Ultimately, the U.S. Congress did pass some legislation addressing that matter, and the distribution industry was able to breathe a little easier.

Recently, however, ASA has become aware of litigation filed by PanIP LLC, a California limited liability company based in San Diego, California, against a small plumbing distributor (an ASA member), and other similar cases, alleging violations of patents concerning data processing systems designed to facilitate commercial and financial transactions conducted through the use of computers. We understand that PanIP claims its patents cover any web site that (1) contains both text and graphics and (2) is capable of obtaining credit card or other financial information from the user. For more information on the litigation, visit (click on Panip Defendants).