Excentus Corp. has filed a patent and trademark infringement lawsuit against QuikTrip Corp., Midax, Inc. and several companies operating Price Chopper grocery stores.
The suit, filed in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri for unspecified damages, alleges among other things that the Chopper Shopper Fuel Rewards program infringes on patents owned by Excentus as well as its federally-registered “Fuel Rewards” trademark.
The other companies named in the suit are McKeever Enterprises Inc.; Bresette Foods Inc.; Four B. Corp.; Queen Enterprises L.L.C.; Cosentino Enterprises Inc.; and Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc.
“QuikTrip contacted us regarding obtaining technology and services for the fuel discount loyalty programs they were developing for Price Chopper (Kansas City) and others, and we did our best to work with them to avoid this situation,” said Dickson Perry, founder and CEO of Excentus. “Since they have chosen to continue without a license for our patents or our ‘Fuel Rewards’ trademark, they left us no choice but to file this suit as we are very serious about protecting our intellectual property.”
Excentus acquired its initial patent portfolio from Autogas back in 2008. It has since been awarded additional patents and has numerous patent applications pending at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2009, Excentus filed a similar patent infringement suit against Safeway for its Power Pump Rewards program that was subsequently discontinued by Safeway and the suit was settled in 2010. Soon afterward, Excentus filed a lawsuit against Kroger that alleges among other things patent infringement and theft of trade secrets regarding Kroger’s fuel loyalty program. This lawsuit remains pending in Ohio.