Citibank's `Screen Phone' Fight

THERE'S A NEW BATTLE brewing in the market for home-banking services. On Nov. 21, Citibank sued Online Resources, a manufacturer of inexpensive telephones with CRT screens that let customers do their banking from their living rooms--charging that the company was infringing on three Citi patents. Citi has launched "screen phones" of its own, in such major markets as New York and Chicago. Online vows to countersue. At stake is a tiny but rapidly growing market. The company whose screen phone becomes the industry standard stands to win big.

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