Tumbleweed on a Roll With Patent Litigation

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Following last week's settlement of a patent infringement lawsuit against Hallmark Cards Inc. covering the delivery of greeting cards online, Tumbleweed Communications Corp. yesterday sued eUniverse Inc., alleging similar issues.

The secure content management services provider accused eUniverse of violating its U.S. patent covering "private, trackable URLs for direct document delivery." The technology, known as personalized URL or PURL, lets online providers of greeting cards and other documents bind content to a digital identity, allowing services such as secure online content delivery and online marketing.

The Redwood City, CA, company settled a lawsuit claiming similar infringement with Hallmark Cards. According to a Tumbleweed statement, Hallmark.com used its technology for all its offerings that "provide for or facilitate document delivery over the Internet and those that include the provision for sending an e-mail delivery notification to the recipient."

As part of the settlement, Hallmark agreed to license Tumbleweed's technology. Financial terms of the lawsuit, filed in early December, were not disclosed.

Also in early December, Tumbleweed said it licensed its technology to American Greetings Corp. for use on its Web site.

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