By  on April 12, 2010

Card Activation Technologies Inc., which holds a patent on debit card-related technology and has a reputation for litigiousness, again has filed an infringement lawsuit against several apparel retailers.

Macy’s Inc., J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Nordstrom Inc., Guess Inc. and the Fashion Bug and Lane Bryant divisions of Charming Shoppes Inc. were among 10 defendants the company accused of violating its patent in a suit filed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., in February. Card Activation Technologies alleged the retailers have processed debit and gift cards in ways that infringe on a patent it received in 2000.

The Chicago-based firm licenses its processing method and has a history of suing retailers over the patent. Last year, it filed a similar suit against Barneys New York, Bebe Stores Inc. and Casual Male Retail Group Inc.

The latest complaint also names outdoor outfitter Cabela’s Inc. and food and beverage operators Starbucks Corp. and Panera Bread Co. as defendants. Card Activation Technologies is seeking unspecified damages and legal fees.

Nordstrom spokeswoman Tara Darrow said Friday that the company believes its process for handling transactions at point of sale does not infringe on any of Card Activation Technologies’ patent rights. Said Darrow: “We’ll defend ourselves and we’re working with other retailers named in the lawsuit who intend to do the same.”

Charming Shoppes said it does not comment on pending litigation. The other defendants did not respond to requests for comment.

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