Mitek Systems to Fight USAA Lawsuit: Los Angeles Mover

Mitek Systems Inc. (MITK) rose for the first time in nine trading sessions after hiring a law firm to defend itself and calling “dishonest” an allegation by customer USAA that it misappropriated check-imaging technology.

Mitek Systems, which had lost half of its value through yesterday since the March 29 lawsuit by USAA, rose 5.3 percent to $6.34 at the close in New York. Volume was more than triple the daily average of the past three months.

USAA, which provides insurance, banking and retirement services to the U.S. military and their families, filed suit on March 29, saying that it invented the technology to permit customers to use their mobile phones to deposit checks. Mitek “misappropriated” the information while working under contract, San Antonio-based USAA said.

In an interview this week, Mitek Chief Executive Officer James DeBello told Bloomberg News the company has the resources to fight the lawsuit.

“Mitek invented this technology,” DeBello said in the interview published yesterday, saying the company has the patents to prove its case. “As an innovator of this technology and in the market the longest, we have created the gold standard.”

Mitek Systems said today it hired Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, a Palo Alto, California-based law firm specializing in technology clients.

“Evidence will ultimately show that Mitek’s engineers independently developed its Mobile Deposit software and related patents based on Mitek’s own ideas,” the San Diego-based company said in a statement today.

USAA objects to being called dishonest and is confident that the truth surrounding its technology will be revealed in a court of law, a spokesman, Paul Berry, said in an interview.

“Everything we do here is based on our core values including honesty and integrity,” he said.

To contact the reporter on this story: Peter J. Brennan in Los Angeles at pbrennan3@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net

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