CHICAGO – A Maryland patent owner filed suit in federal court here last week claiming Alliant CU is infringing on its patent for collecting debt through its call center, including its pay-by-phone collections.

Inventor Robert Polin and his Autoscribe Corp., based in Gaithersburg, Md., claim Alliant is infringing on its patent by allowing members to make payments from their checking accounts over the telephone by conducting a conversation with a member service representative.

The Chicago credit union is the latest of a number of banks being sued by the patent firm, including SunTrust, Citi, JP Morgan Chase, BB&T, HSBC and Harris National, as well as Online Resources Corp. and Allstate.

The Maryland firm says it believes the credit union is violating several parts of its patent but wants to conduct discovery to determine the extent of the alleged infringement.

The patent firm said it notified the $8 billion of its patent claim in March 2011 but never heard back from Alliant.

Alliant CU did not return a phone call seeking comment.


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