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United, Delta, Alaska Air Sued Over Mobile Check-In Patents

Four U.S. Airlines Sued by Patent Holder
A Continental Airlines jet, foreground, is parked near United Airlines jets at O'Hare International Airport in Chicago, Illinois, U.S. Photographer: Tim Boyle/Bloomberg

United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines and Alaska Air Group Inc. were sued by a patent holder over wireless transaction technology for mobile check-in and boarding passes.

Aeritas LLC, a Dallas-based wireless software maker, contends the air carriers are using its inventions protected by patents awarded in 2007 and 2011, according to four complaints filed yesterday in federal court in Wilmington, Delaware.

“Aeritas has suffered monetary damages in an amount adequate to compensate for defendants’ infringement, but in no event less than a reasonable royalty,” wrote the patent holder, which is also seeking a jury trial and a halt to the airlines’ use of the inventions.

Continental and United are units of United Continental Holdings Inc., based in Chicago. Delta is based in Atlanta, and Alaska Air is based in Seattle.

“We haven’t been served and are still assessing the claims of the lawsuit,” Bobbie Egan, an Alaska Airlines spokeswoman, said in an e-mailed statement.

Trebor Banstetter, a Delta spokesman, didn’t immediately return a call seeking comment on the lawsuit. Representatives of United Continental weren’t immediately available for comment.

The cases are Aeritas v. United Airlines Inc., 1:11-cv-00970; Aeritas v. Continental Airlines Inc.; Aeritas v. Delta Air Lines Inc.; and Aeritas v. Alaska Air Group Inc., U.S. District Court, District of Delaware (Wilmington).

To see the patents, click 7,933,589 and 7,209,903.

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