Blackhawk Network Announces U.S. Patent and Trademark Office Agrees to Reexamine InComm Patent

Sept. 7, 2010 13:00 UTC

Blackhawk Defends Allegations from InComm -- Asserts Defenses That The '439 Patent Is Invalid, Unenforceable and Not Infringed

PLEASANTON, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- Blackhawk Network, a leading provider of prepaid and financial payments products for consumers and businesses, today announced that InComm's (e2Interactive's) United States Patent No. 7,578,439 (the '439 patent), is being reexamined by the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

In a complaint filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, InComm has alleged that Blackhawk infringes the '439 patent. Blackhawk denied that it infringes and alleged in defenses and counterclaims that the '439 patent is invalid and unenforceable. On June 28, 2010, Blackhawk also requested that the USPTO reexamine the '439 patent on the grounds that the claims of the '439 patent should not have been issued and that substantial new questions existed regarding the patentability of those claims. On August 26, 2010, the USPTO granted Blackhawk's request for ex parte reexamination of the '439 patent, concluding that substantial new questions existed regarding the patentability of the claims of the '439 patent. The USPTO's decision granting reexamination further states that the USPTO intends to proceed with the reexamination with "special dispatch."

Blackhawk is pleased that the USPTO has agreed that its arguments raise substantial new questions concerning the patentability of the claims asserted in the lawsuit.

About Blackhawk Network

Blackhawk Network, a subsidiary of Safeway Inc., is a leading provider of prepaid and financial payments products for consumers and businesses. The company's Gift Card Mall™ offers the industry's most popular prepaid gift card and telecom products. Gift Card Mall reaches more than 165 million people each week through an exclusive network of leading grocery, big box, convenience, drug, and specialty stores and is available through Internet retailers including GiftCardMall.com. Blackhawk Network's business solutions include reward and incentive programs that offer choice and flexibility through a wide array of card brands, custom designed Visa® prepaid cards and fulfillment options.

Headquartered in Pleasanton, California, Blackhawk Network Inc. has offices in the United States, Australia, Canada, France, Japan, Mexico and the United Kingdom. For more information about Blackhawk Network visit www.blackhawknetwork.com and www.giftcardmall.com

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MWW Group
Meghan Fintland, 415-262-5951 (office)
415-202-4339 (mobile)

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