A Dallas company has filed suit against four of the country’s major air carriers – United, Delta, Continental and Alaska Air – claiming they’re infringing its patents on mobile ticketing and check-in services.
In four identical complaints filed Oct. 13 in Delaware district court, Aeritas LLC alleges the “Mobile services,” “Mobile Check-in,” and “eBoarding Pass” applications airlines offer to make air travel quicker and more convenient for fliers overlap with two business method patents the company filed in 2000.
The patents, both titled “Method and system for facilitation of wireless e-commerce transactions” (Nos. 7,209,903 and 7,933,589), claim rights to a process that lets people use their smartphone to display scannable ticket vouchers for flights, concerts, movies and the like.
Aeritas CEO Malik Mamdani declined to comment on the lawsuits or his company during a phone call with The Patent Examiner.
The company website notes that “Aeritas’ principals pioneered the mobile barcode and mobile ticketing space.” In 2001, the company announced the launch of a wireless check-in “solution” called FreedomPass that uses voice verification and bar code technology to let people use their phones to check in at the airport. FreedomPass isn’t mentioned in the complaints.
Aeritas’ website highlights a lot of news coverage from 2001 and earlier, but it isn’t clear that the company has any product on the market today. Rather, the website emphasizes the company’s patent rights. Other than an patent-related announcement from 2007, the news coverage highlighted on Aeritas’ website all comes from 2002 and earlier.
“We are presently pursuing several exciting opportunities for new partnerships and licensing agreements for the Company’s patents and applications,” says Aeritas CEO Malik Mamdani, in the 2007 announcement.
A spokeswoman for United and Continental airlines declined to comment to The Patent Examiner, saying the companies’ corporate policy is to not comment on pending litigation.
Aeritas is being represented by Bayard PA and Russ, August & Kabat. Neither firm returned calls and emails for this story.
To view the complaints [PDFs] against each airline, listed above:
- Aeritas v. United Airlines
- Aeritas v. Delta Airlines
- Aeritas v. Continental Airlines
- Aeritas v. Alaska Air Group