Vision-1 LLC, a company formed by two inventors named Nancy L. Anderson and Lois J. Pannkuk, first filed suit against Wal-Mart Stores LLC in October 2008. At issue is their patent, US Patent No. 6,970,831, "Method and means for evaluating customer service performance." The inventors claim that Wal-Mart is infringing the patent with their point-of-sale feedback system (the one that asks a question such as "Did the cashier greet you today?").
As of March 2009, Anderson and Pannkuk have filed a motion seeking a preliminary injunction to immediately stop Wal-Mart from using their system.
The inventors first contacted Wal-Mart with a description of their patent and an offer of a license in October 2006, but filed suit in 2008 after Wal-Mart stopped responding to their letters.
Very interesting. I never would have suspected that Wal-Mart may be guilty of patent infringement. If this went public it may be good for Wal-Mart. If Wal-Mart goes to court and gets publicity, than more people will pay attention to the "Did the cashier greet you today?" feedback system.
It'll be interesting to see what the court decides in this possible patent infringement case.
I agree. I think Wal-Mart may just be doing that. Ignoring the correspondence in order for this to go public. Great free publicity and then if they want to use the system they are patent infringing at this time, they will get more attention and feedback to their store.
I know the system also asks if the store is clean today. Good way to keep big brother watching over the employees.