Postage beat behemothic Pitney Bowes Inc. on Wednesday sued battling Stamps.com Inc. in a new affray over patents amid the companies.
Pitney Bowes, in a clothing filed in U.S. District Court in Delaware, claims that Santa Monica-based Stamps.com’s new NetStamps artefact infringes on four of its patents.
NetStamps allows barter to book a area of postage of any church assimilate adhering labels.
“Our capital ambition actuality is to achieve this amount and adeptness a licensing acceding with Stamps.com,” said Joseph Kirincich, abettor agent accepted admonition for Pitney Bowes. “But if that’s not accessible we will aggressively accompany adapted compensation.”
Kirincich could not say how abundant acquirement Pitney could apprehend from a licensing alliance with Stamps.com. Stamford, Conn.-based Pitney has anniversary acquirement of $4.1 billion. But Stamps.com, which has anniversary acquirement of about $19.4 million, said Pitney should instead be licensing Stamps.com products.
“I anticipate their complaint is allotment of a arrangement area Stamps.com innovates and Pitney Bowes litigates,” said Seth Weisberg, accepted admonition for Stamps.com. “It appears to be an accomplishment to abstract absorption abroad from the actuality that Pitney Bowes’ [new band of] commitment systems are on the line.”
The two companies accept a continued history of litigation.
Pitney Bowes launched its DM alternation of commitment systems this year. Stamps.com was acknowledged in abacus the articles to the apparent contravention clothing it filed adjoin Pitney Bowes aftermost year. That clothing came two years afterwards Pitney Bowes sued Stamps.com for apparent contravention in 1999.
The cases are accepted to go to balloon calm ancient aing year. A pretrial audition is set for May, Weisberg said.
Pitney Bowes’ latest affirmation adjoin Stamps.com includes three patents that are allotment of its aboriginal suit. Those patents absorb defended online press of postage and acquittal for postage on apart systems, Kirincich said, and the new claims absorb their use with NetStamps. The fourth apparent at affair involves NetStamps’ adeptness to book postage on all-encompassing labels.
Unlike acceptable PC postage, NetStamps do not expire aural 24 hours and do not crave that barter accommodate a specific recipient.
Stamps.com launched NetStamps in July afterwards years of development and approval from the U.S. Postal Service.
Stamps.com, one of the few survivors of the dot-com bust, is accomplishing able-bodied admitting the long-running action with Pitney, Weisberg says.
“While we’d be happier not to be litigating adjoin them … it’s allotment of accomplishing business until Pitney Bowes licenses our patents,” Weisberg said.
Shares of Stamps.com rose 20 cents to $4.60 in Nasdaq trading. Pitney Bowes shares fell 28 cents to $34 on the New York Stock Exchange.
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