By  on January 29, 2009

Card Activation Technologies Inc., which holds patents on technology related to debit and gift cards, has sued three apparel retailers for patent infringement.

The Chicago-based firm filed complaints on Jan. 21 in U.S. District Court in its home city against Barneys New York, Bebe Stores Inc. and Casual Male Retail Group. The company alleged that the retailers have used methods for processing debit and other stored-value cards that infringe on a patent it filed in 2000.

Card Activation Technologies has a history of suing retailers in attempts to license the technology. The company reached a settlement this month with Sears Holdings Corp. and OfficeMax Inc., and has suits pending against Barnes & Noble Inc. and Aéropostale Inc. It also has sued grocery giant Whole Food Markets Inc. and Panda Restaurant Group in the latest round of litigation.

The company is seeking an injunction against the defendants’ further use of the processing method unless they obtain a license and other, unspecified damages.

Casual Male and Bebe Stores did not return calls requesting comment. A Barneys representative said the company could not comment because it had not yet been served with court papers.

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