Stamps.com Files Counterclaim Against Pitney Bowes

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Online postage vendor Stamps.com, Santa Monica, CA, Friday filed a patent counterclaim against Pitney Bowes, Stamford, CT, alleging that Pitney Bowes' DM Series digital metering products infringe three Stamps.com patents.


Along with damages, Stamps.com said its counterclaim in U.S. District Court in Delaware also seeks a permanent injunction to prohibit Pitney Bowes from making, using and selling DM Series products.


The counterclaim is in response to a Pitney Bowes suit in December claiming that Stamps.com's NetStamps postage product infringed several Pitney Bowes patents. NetStamps lets users print sheets of postage from Stamps.com's Web site. Stamps.com denied last week that its NetStamps product infringes Pitney Bowes' patents.


In a statement last week, Pitney Bowes said "the counterclaim ... is without merit. This clearly appears to be a retaliatory tactic intended to divert attention away from Pitney Bowes' valid patent infringement claims previously filed against Stamps.com in December 2002 and in June 1999."


In other news, Stamps.com agreed Jan. 17 to settle a domain lawsuit with Cybershop. According to the filing, Stamps.com will keep the domain name www.stamps.com and pay the plaintiff what it called an immaterial amount of money.


Cybershop and its general partners filed suit against Stamps.com in December 2000 in U.S. District Court, alleging that in 1998 a third party fraudulently transferred ownership of the domain name away from Cybershop. The complaint sought unspecified monetary damages and legal resolution and recognition that Cybershop owns the domain name.


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