Pitney Bowes sues Zumbox for patent infringement

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Pitney Bowes filed suit against Zumbox in California Central District Court this month, alleging that Zumbox's Web-based mail system infringes on three of its patents. The suit seeks to stop Zumbox from using technology that Pitney Bowes claims is related to the patents.

Pitney Bowes also wants Zumbox to pay an undisclosed amount in damages, pre-judgment interest, attorney fees and other costs.

“On behalf of our shareholders, we have an obligation to protect our intellectual property and have been doing so for a long time, said Bernie Gracy, VP of strategy and new business development at Pitney Bowes. “We have a lot invested and a lot of expertise in this intellectual property and that's why we are moving here.”

Zumbox launched early this year and named direct marketing industry veteran Donn Rappaport its CEO in June. In the past month, the cities of New York, San Francisco and Newark, NJ, signed on to use the service for municipal messaging. It is also working with Chicago-based publisher 22nd Century Media to deliver digital editions of its local weekly newspapers.

Rappaport said in a statement today that the company is “confident that Zumbox is not in violation of, or infringing on, Pitney Bowes' patents in any way.”

“Further, we had no prior knowledge of this lawsuit before Pitney Bowes filed the suit and issued its press release today,” he added in the statement. “We are just now reviewing the suit to better understand their motives.”

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