Compass Gets Go Ahead For Check Paying By Phone

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Hed: Compass Gets Go Ahead For Check Paying By Phone

Compass International Services Corp., Woodbury, NJ, a single source provider of outsourced business services, now has free reign to offer check paying by phone to consumers. The company reached a settlement between its wholly-owned subsidiary, National Credit Management Corp., Baltimore, and AutoScribe Corp., Rockville, MD, ending all litigation related to the Accelerated Payment Systems product.

"The agreement will allow NCMC to concentrate on developing a broader market for the APS Checks product while enjoying patent protection," said Michael Cunningham, chairman/CEO of Compass. It will also eliminate ongoing royalty and legal expenses related to patent enforcement.

Under the agreement, NCMC assigned its APS patent rights to AutoScribe in return for a royalty-free license to utilize the patent and other intellectual property rights for the life of the patent.

In addition, NCMC has filed a motion in the Southern District court in New York to substitute AutoScribe in place of NCMC as plaintiff in litigation alleging infringement of the patent by a competitor of APS, Hunt Valley, MD.

In June, another settlement was reached between NCMC and Novus Services & Dean Witter and Discover & Co., where NCMC received an undisclosed payment. The case alleging patent infringement was dismissed in the United States District Court for the District of Maryland.

Compass recently received an increase of its revolving credit facility from $35 million to $50 million with Bank of America, as agent, and a syndicate of banks including Fleet Bank and First National Bank of Maryland.

Since its initial public offering in March, 1998, Compass International has completed eight acquisitions. The trailing annual revenue of these acquisitions totals approximately $52.5 million and brings the annualized run rate of Compass revenues to approximately $160 million.

"Our acquisitions combined with internal growth of our founding companies have nearly doubled our revenue base in the five months since our offering," said Cunningham.

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