Sunday, December 03, 2006

Biometric passports: if you can't sell to them, sue them!

In May 2006, Reuters reported: Malaysia's Iris Corp, a maker of electronic passports, could capture new business from a recent U.S. requirement that travellers use biometric passports, the firm's chief said on Monday [May 8]. On December 3, XFN reported: Smart passport maker Iris Corp Bhd said it is suing the US government and Japan Air Lines for patent infringement. In a filing to Bursa Malaysia, Iris said it filed the US government suit in the court of Federal Claims in Washington.

Somewhere in between, Lukas Grunwald told "The whole [biometric] passport design is totally brain-damaged. From my point of view, all of these [biometric] passports are a huge waste of money - they're not increasing security at all."

Reuters had also reported in May 2006:

"Iris is the only company in the world that provides everything from the front end to the back end in the e-passport business and has a track record," said S. Sharath, an analyst with MIDF Sisma Securities Sdn Bhd.

Iris, already involved in a $246 million job producing 5.5 million passports for Nigeria, may bid for an identity card project now worth $300 million in the same country, Malaysia's Business Times reported on Monday, citing analysts.

Tan declined comment on the report.

Iris says it owns three patents for its design and electronic biometric passport process, including those for the United States.

"Iris has a track record and a huge addressable market that's driven by the U.S., and that's going to force global adoption," said another analyst.

In Dec. 2006, XFN also noted that Iris said a lawsuit against Japan Air Lines has also been filed in a US court for the eastern district of New York which "seeks damages for patent infringement by JAL's use, at US airports, of e-passports... that have been manufactured according to the Iris electronic identification or e-passport patent."


Blogger YC said...


Do you following on their Court case? What's the chances that IRIS will win the case?


4:49 AM  

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