As many of you know, AdvanceMe got a patent issued that is about a credit card processor paying someone other than the merchant to reduce an outstanding obligation. You can see more about it at:
AdvanceMe has started to sue many companies including mine, AmeriMerchant. We are set to goto trial in January and have a deadline coming up with the courts in August that we must produce all information / evidence that we will be using in trial.
We believe that companies were performing this "invention" well before July 1997 when it was "invented." A patent becomes invalid and unenforceable if one can prove that invention was not novel at the time the application was submitted to the patent office even though it was granted by the patent office. Furthermore, if the inventor knew about similar / existing inventions and didn't tell the patent office then it becomes invalid as well and the plantiff (in this case AdvanceMe) can be liable for legal fees.
With that said, we have identified several prior art systems to invalidate this patent (if you know of any others, please feel free to email me at email@example.com. All inquiries will be kept confidential). One such system was Dining Ala Card that provided cash advances to merchants and was repaid out of a merchant's future credit card receipts (this took place in the early 1990s).
We are currently seeking "prior art" (printed publications, websites, marketing materials, merchant agreements, etc.) dealing with Dining Ala Card prior to July 1997. If anyone knows where to find (or has) Dining Ala Card marketing materials, agreements, merchant contracts, and/or knew how it operated, knew someone that will know how it operated, etc. please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. All inquiries will be kept confidential.
If anyone had interacted with senior management at AdvanceMe prior to September 2005 and believes they knew about similar systems (eg. Clever Ideas, Transmedia, idine/Rewards Network, etc.), please please email me at email@example.com. All inquiries will be kept confidential.
If someone also knows about credit card processors paying third parties instead of the merchant directly before July 1997, please email me.
We believe we have a very strong case that this patent is not a novel invention and there were many lenders/creditors, etc. that were getting paid out of credit card receipts before July 1997 and if the patent office was told about these systems/companies by AdvanceMe during patent prosecution, this patent would never have been granted.