Grocery Chain Sued For QR Code Technology

Coding Technologies LLC has filed a complaint against grocery store chain HyVee for patent infringement. The complaint is filed in the District of Nebraska. Coding Technologies is represented by Goosmann Law Firm.

The patent-in-suit is U.S. Patent No. 8,540,159 (the “’159 Patent”), entitled “Method for Providing Mobile Service Using Code-pattern.” Coding Technologies states that HyVee infringes at least claim 1 of the ’159 patent “by using and/or incorporating code patterns in connection with promotional media distributed by and/or controlled by Defendant in a manner covered by one or more claims of the ’159 Patent.”

HyVee “provides content (e.g., a website with promotional information) with the use of a code pattern (e.g., a QR code) in connection with promotional media containing the code pattern. The content is provided by a user terminal (e.g., a smartphone or other device capable of scanning the code pattern).” In other words, HyVee’s promotional material contains a QR code that can be scanned on a smartphone or tablet. A smartphone is able to capture this code through its camera. Then, “[a] processor of the user terminal processes the photographic image of the code pattern to extract the code pattern (e.g., image of QR code) from the photographic image. The extracted code pattern can be viewed by the user…The extracted code pattern is decoded by the processor of the user terminal unto code information.”

For instance, a user may use their smartphone’s camera to capture the HyVee QR code, which decodes the hyperlink encoded within the QR code. This will then bring the user to the desired webpage after sending and receiving information to and from a user’s device and HyVee’s servers. Coding Technologies alleges that this directly infringes with the patented technology in the ’159 patent.

The plaintiff has sought judgment in its favor, an order enjoining the defendant from further infringement, an award for damages, pre- and post-judgment interest, and additional relief as determined by the court.