TouchPay operator wins patent infringement case

The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Manila Express Payments System (MEPS), the operator of the TouchPay electronic kiosks, has secured victory in its patent infringement case against BTI Payments Philippines Inc., the operator of the rival Pay&Go machines.

The arbitral tribunal from the Philippine Dispute Resolution Center Inc. (PDRCI) recently rendered an arbitral award directing BTI to pay MEPS at least P5.3 million for patent infringement.

In a resolution, the arbitral body found BTI to have unlawfully copied the patented utility model of MEPS and to have violated the Intellectual Property Law allegedly in connivance with Electronic Transfer & Advance Processing Inc. (ETAP).

MEPS had alleged that BTI and ETAP unlawfully copied its automated payment machine.

TouchPay is an automated payment machine that offers electronic transactions for paying utility bills, prepaid loads, and more. TouchPay’s utility model is registered with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO).

The Pay&Go kiosk machines, on the other hand, are manufactured by ETAP and deployed by BTI.

“BTI copied the registered utility model of MEPS ATMs into its APTs of Pay&Go and violated the copyright law,” the tribunal said.

The crimes of trademark infringement and unfair competition are under Sections 155 and 168, both in relation to Section 170 of Republic Act 8293, otherwise known as the Intellectual Property Code of the Philippines.

The invention or utility model of the TouchPay machines are under patent protection, hence they cannot be used or imitated without the consent of the patent holder, creator or inventor.

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