DALLAS — Excentus here has filed a patent and trademark infringement lawsuit against QuikTrip, Midax and several companies operating Price Chopper grocery stores.
The other companies named in the suit are McKeever Enterprises, Bresette Foods, Four B., Queen Enterprises, Cosentino Enterprises and Associated Wholesale Grocers .
The suit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Missouri for unspecified damages, alleges among other things that the Chopper Shopper Fuel Rewards program infringes on patents owned by Excentus as well as its federally registered “Fuel Rewards” trademark.
"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," said Dickson Perry, founder and chief executive officer of Excentus, in a statement. "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."
QuikTrip and Midax declined to comment. McKeever Enterprises, Bresette Foods, Four B., Queen Enterprises, Cosentino Enterprises and Associated Wholesale Grocers did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Excentus acquired its initial patent portfolio from Autogas in 2008. It has since been awarded additional patents and has numerous patent applications pending at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. In 2009, Excentus filed a patent infringement suit against Safeway  for its Power Pump Rewards program that was subsequently discontinued by Safeway; the suit was settled in 2010. Soon afterward, Excentus filed a lawsuit against Kroger  that alleges among other things patent infringement and theft of trade secrets regarding Kroger’s fuel loyalty program; this lawsuit remains pending in Ohio.