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Stamps.com Sues Pitney Bowes, Claims Patent Infringement

Stamps.com Inc., an online postage vendor, has filed a lawsuit against Pitney Bowes, alleging that the postage equipment giant is infringing on four of its Internet postage patents.

The four patents were invented by Salim Kara, founder of E-Stamp Corp. In April, Stamps.com, Santa Monica, CA, acquired E-Stamp's assets, including its name and 31 patents. E-Stamp in November 2000 pulled out of the Internet-based postage industry and now focuses on the e-learning market.

“We are committed to strategically managing our intellectual property portfolio to enhance shareholder value,” Stamps.com CEO Bruce Coleman said.

Pitney Bowes, which has patent-infringement suits of its own against Stamps.com dating to 1999, said the new suit “appears to be a diversionary tactic intended to shift attention from Pitney Bowes' legitimate patent-infringement claims against Stamps.com for both Internet postage and shipping technologies.”

Pitney Bowes, Stamford, CT, said it has not yet received a copy of the Stamps.com complaint, filed this month in federal court in Los Angeles.

The Pitney Bowes lawsuits against Stamps.com involve both online postage and shipping patents. In September, Pitney Bowes said Stamps.com was infringing on four shipping patents, including one covering the use of electronic data interchange for tracking and rate information.

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