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DALLAS -- Excentus Corp. has filed a lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri against QuikTrip Corp., Midax Inc. and several companies that operate Price Chopper grocery stores, alleging patent and trademark infringement. According to the suit, the Chopper Shopper Fuel Rewards program infringes on patents owned by Excentus and on its federally registered "Fuel Rewards" trademark.
McKeever Enterprises Inc.; Bresette Foods Inc.; Four B. Corp.; Queen Enterprises L.L.C.; Cosentino Enterprises Inc.; and Associated Wholesale Grocers Inc. are named in the lawsuit.
"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," stated 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 in 2008, and has since been awarded additional patents, and has multiple patent applications pending at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, according to the company.
In 2009, Excentus filed a similar patent infringement lawsuit against Safeway for its Power Pump Rewards program, which Safeway later discontinued; the suit was settled in 2010. A lawsuit against Kroger alleging patent infringement and theft of trade secrets regarding Kroger's fuel loyalty program remains pending in Ohio.