RealTime IT News

Pitney, E-Stamp In Postage Battle

Pitney Bowes Inc. Friday announced it has filed a patent-infringement lawsuit against E-Stamp Corp., alleging the company's electronic stamp product infringes on its technology.

The suit is seeking unspecified damages for the violation. E-Stamp denies the charge and plans to fight the suit, according to the Wall Street Journal report.

Pitney said it holds patents going back to the 1980s which cover postage printed from a PC or computer network printer. The company claims E-Stamp's product, which prints postage directly onto an envelope, violates this copyright.

Pitney said it discussed licensing the technology to E-Stamp and only filed a lawsuit after those negotiations fell through.

Last year, the U.S. Postal Service first gave E-Stamp the nod to test its product and Pitney began its own trial soon after. While E-Stamp plans to release software by the end of the summer, Pitney has yet to set a launch date. Neither has set a price for the new technology.

The Postal Service sells $60 billion in postage annually, up to one third of the sales from postage meters. The market for Net and printer-delivered postage is expected to reach $700 million in the next five years.