E-Stamp Wins Patents, Microsoft Marketing Deal

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E-Stamp Corp., San Mateo, CA, announced a new marketing campaign this week in conjunction with Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, as part of its latest effort to draw the public's attention to new, jointly managed online purchasing sites for postage. The partnership includes special promotions aimed at small business owners and home offices in association with key Internet sites connected to the Microsoft Network.

The move follows important approvals granted to the company Dec. 8 by the U.S. Patent Trademark Office for proprietary systems designed to make Internet postage more useable and secure. E-Stamp, the first company approved to sell Internet postage commercially, now has a total company patent portfolio of 26. The company's first approvals were granted in August.

Robert Ewald, president/CEO at

E-Stamp, said the company would continue to develop and market new Internet postage technology.

"The new patents clearly position us to expand these capabilities in Internet postage as well as to open the door for other business opportunities," he said.

As part of its marketing agreement with Microsoft, E-Stamp will be the exclusive Internet postage advertiser on the Microsoft bCentral business site, in addition to a branded business presence targeting small businesses and technology corporations via MSNBC.

Sources said an integrated direct mail marketing campaign also has been planned for January, but a company spokesman declined to comment on the details.

The first series of marketing promotions extend complimentary starter kits for E-Stamp Internet Postage aimed at Microsoft's bCentral customers if they agree to subscribe to the sites' monthly service.

In related news, Pitney Bowes was given approval this week by the U.S. Postal Service to begin the final testing phase of its ClickStamp Online and ClickStamp Plus products, two PC-based postage products for small businesses. The approval allows Pitney Bowes to expand its testing product campaign to small business owners across the country.

Distinguishing the characteristics of the company's planned services, William Shannon, vice president at Pitney Bowes' product planning and small business solutions group, said, "Through extensive research, we know that small business owners don't all operate alike. They need products that work the way they do."

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