TALL Group Wins Long-Running Lawsuit
The TALL Group of Companies, the UK’s leading provider of secure electronic and paper payments solutions, has successfully defended a patent infringement case brought against it by a competitor, global customer communications company Communisis in a long-running lawsuit.
The now disproven claim was that an encryption system, which helps to ensure that fraudulent cheques are trapped and rejected wherever possible was a direct or equivalent infringement of a system allegedly invented and owned by Communisis.
But, after a process that has been ongoing since 2017, a ruling passed down by the Intellectual Property Enterprise Court (IPEC) stated that, not only was TALL Group’s system different, its method was “much more secure and effective” than the one covered by the patent of its larger rival and, therefore, did not infringe.
Additionally, Communisis’ patent was held to be invalid due to lack of inventiveness compared to three earlier patents, one of which dated back to 1974, and because the alleged invention was no more than a “mathematical method” which cannot be patented. Communisis, whose CEO stood down recently, employs more than 2000 people, according to company data tracker Owler, with offices in 17 countries. The TALL Group consists of TALL Security Print Ltd, Checkprint Ltd and DLRT Ltd, operating out of three accredited sites in the UK and employs 150 people.
Commenting on the win, following the long-running lawsuit, Martin Ruda, Group Managing Director at the TALL Group of Companies, said: “We were always confident of the outcome of this case. As an organisation committed to the safety, security and integrity of the UK payments systems, we will continue to develop and implement effective cheque fraud prevention tools which can benefit all cheque using customers, their banks and the cheque clearing industry as a whole.
In contrast to others, we believe that strong methodologies to trap fraudsters should be made available across the industry, and our UCN Plus® system, which significantly enhances the protection afforded to business cheque customers, is offered freely to other Accredited Cheque Printers.’’
Colin Bell, intellectual property lawyer and partner at Brabners, said: “This has been a long and drawn out ordeal for TALL Group and I am glad it has ended with the right decision from the court. While we were always confident of winning, the judgment emphasises the importance of providing good instructions to experts in patent cases. Economically there are challenges ahead for all businesses and this judgment means my client is now able to face into them unimpeded.”
Parsley Box Turn to The TALL Group
Its’ all about choice… Parsley Box turn to the TALL Group during COVID-19 lock down
“Great meals and service you can trust! …. According to the Parsley Box website, founders Adrienne and Gordon Macaulay were trying to find a range of ready meals for Gordon’s mum who was living on her own. Worried about her eating properly, they searched for delivered meal services but so concerned were they with the offerings available decided to create Parsley Box providing customers with cupboard stored tasty meals, ordered online and delivered fast to their door.
As the demand for home delivered meals using quality ingredients has grown so Parsley Box has seen its customer base expand since the company started back in 2017. TALL were first contacted by John Swan, Parsley Box CFO, following a recommendation by the Royal Bank of Scotland to provide a quotation for an entry level Banking Assistant solution.
Parsley Box at that time were receiving around 2,500 cheques per month. The number and use of cheques boosted by Parsley Box’s customer demographic. TALL’s Banking Assistant, a cheque imaging and tracking system that automatically captures the code line and amounts of cheques to be deposited, would provide a means of keeping a record of all items received in payment for the ready meals.
However, with the turn of the year and the advent of the COVID-19 epidemic, with the UK in lockdown, Parsley Box have seen a dramatic increase in the demand for its cupboard stored meals delivered straight to the customer’s door. This increase in demand has resulted in a near doubling of cheque receipts from 4,000 to 5,000 per month.
From the original enquiry, TALL provided further information to enable Parsley Box to cope with the up-turn in cheque receipts, and establish how the Banking Assistant application could be integrated into the Parsley Box operating systems. Having agreed the specifications for the system, the application went live in the middle of May 2020. However, due to COVID-19 lockdown restrictions in place, TALL were not able to visit the Parsley Box site. Therefore, TALL’s installation of the system was completed remotely, a major benefit to both organisations under the prevailing restrictions.
The TALL Group’s Banking Assistant provides a full audit trail of funds received into the business by cheques to speed up the banking process. Cheques are scanned onsite using a model TS240 state-of-the-art cheque scanner supplied as part of the Banking Assistant solution. The TS240 is a high-speed automatic feed cheque scanner. The integral automatic feed allows batches of cheques to be processed with all MICR code line and amount details captured. The scanner also reads both sides of the cheque to capture images of the front and rear, a feature which Parsley Box needed as they endorse the rear of each cheque which a series of codes that identify the processor. This feature also allows for faster resolution of customer enquiries using the comprehensive database and image search facility built into the system. An XML file export facility provides the option of transferring this comprehensive database into corporate accounting systems for added analysis.
An optional feature used by Parsley Box to speed up cheque processing involves Banking Assistant auto-populating fields in the database for subsequent customer payments. Once the first received cheque details are captured then further cheque receipts from that customer are recognised and their details automatically infilled in the system saving processing time.
John Swan said, “We have been impressed with the way in which the TALL Group have gone about the installation and commissioning of their Banking Assistant solution particularly as we were faced with lockdown restrictions. As we have witnessed incredible growth in our offerings during the crisis, so the background administration and processing of payments has also increased. Banking Assistant is going to provide us with the facility to manage our payment receipts as we move forward providing us with complete flexibility for the future.”
Martin Ruda, TALL Group Managing Director, commenting on the installation said, “Throughout the lockdown, the TALL Group has been providing products and services to our beleaguered customers from our three secure accredited sites in the UK as ‘key suppliers’ to the industry. I am delighted that our dedicated solution sales team, working in conjunction with the Group IT function, have managed to get ‘close’ to Parsley Box to facilitate this solution and we look forward to supporting them through their journey as their business grows and develops.”