Appeals Court Deals Another Blow To Card Activation Giftcard Patent Lawsuits

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The ongoing saga of Card Activation Technologies (CAT)—the gift card patent owner that has been suing many of the nation's largest retailers including RadioShack, 7-Eleven, Nordstrom, Macy's, Starbucks, JCPenney, Sears, OfficeMax, TJX, McDonald's and Walgreens—took another bad turn for CAT as a federal appeals panel upheld on Monday (Dec. 10) a federal court that had ruled against CAT. CAT has previously said that all of its survival hopes are based on a successful appeal. The financially strapped CAT's only choice now is to try an appeal to the full circuit or even to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court directly, both of which would be considered long shots.

Still, CAT attorney Mark Peterson said his client has about 30 days to decide its next move. The case that the Third Circuit sustained included a memorable line from Kent A. Jordan, who was serving as trial judge but who is primarily a member of the appellate panel. Jordan referred to one CAT claim, involving granting another party more time to amend a complaint, with the comment that "it takes some chutzpah to mount those objections." It's likely to take more than chutzpah for CAT to mount another appeal.