PCATS Clarifies Gilbarco Patent Issue

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                   

Contact: John Hervey (703) 836-1630
October 19, 2007 [email protected]

PCATS Clarifies Gilbarco Patent IssueAlexandria, VA – October 19, 2007  

Following the announcement by Gilbarco Inc. that it will make two key patents available by non-enforcement for all implementations of the Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) standards, PCATS today issued a clarification of the situation concerning the Gilbarco patents.PCATS Executive Director, John Hervey, issued a statement responding to the Gilbarco press release,   “PCATS appreciates that Gilbarco has committed publicly it will not enforce its XML dispenser patents to interfere with our ongoing standards efforts.  However, as a lawfully instituted standards development body authorized by the US Department of Justice, we have been attempting to ensure future protections for the industry through a written agreement with Gilbarco.  Although a few days ago Gilbarco informed us that it felt an impasse was reached on that front, we regret this unilateral explanation issued by Gilbarco. 

Consequently, we are issuing this clarification.”Commenting on the effect of the Gilbarco patents, Hervey noted that a number of PCATS Standards are implicated because the patents cover communications between a fuel dispenser and other retail devices using a data-type aware markup language, including XML.  However, he pointed out that none of the existing PCATS standards or specifications are completed or fully developed. 

Among activities he identified as currently under way are: (1) the POS/Back Office PCATS-NAXML Specification is being updated to Version 4; (2) the preliminary version of the PCATS Open Site Architecture Standard and documentation is nearing adoption, along with an initial specification that will address messages related to the Fueling Point; and (3) a draft version of the Loyalty Program Specification will soon be completed for review by the Retail Financial Transactions Committee and eventually considered for adoption by the PCATS General Assembly.   Anyone implementing PCATS standards may do so without any form of license from Gilbarco, as long as their implementations stay within the exact provisions of the applicable standard or specification.  

According to Hervey, “PCATS carefully reviewed a license proposed by Gilbarco and concluded that it was not appropriate.  So, we attempted to discuss other options with Gilbarco that eventually did not lead to any formal agreement.  Thus, we expect to continue development and/or modification of our standards and specifications and we strongly believe that such work will proceed without any problems arising over the Gilbarco patents.”  Hervey ended his remarks noting that, “We welcome Gilbarco’s commitment to remain actively involved in working on all of the PCATS Standards”


About PCATS  The Petroleum Convenience Alliance for Technology Standards (PCATS) is composed of over 160 members representing major companies, both supplier and retailer, in the petroleum marketing and convenience industry.  PCATS mission is to develop, maintain and help members implement a variety of technology standards.