Pitney Bowes sues ‘paperless' mailer Zumbox

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Stamford, Conn.—Mailstream technology company Pitney Bowes has sued Zumbox, a startup company that delivers “paperless” mail to special electronic mailboxes, over alleged patent infringements of similar Pitney Bowes technologies.

Filed in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, the lawsuit claims that Pitney Bowes' own research, as well as technology acquired via acquisitions, involving “new physical and electronic messaging offerings” is being infringed upon by Zumbox. Pitney Bowes, long known for its role in managing physical mail, cites in particular its patents for electronic mail, messaging and parcel delivery.

Zumbox, which is rolling out its service this quarter, delivers digital versions of financial statements, bills, direct mail, catalogs, publications and personal correspondence to electronic inboxes set up for business and home street addresses. This summer the company raised $8 million in venture funding from a group of investors that include former Walt Disney Co. CEO Michael Eisner and FreshDirect Chairman-CEO Rick Braddock.

"We are confident that Zumbox is not in violation of, or infringing on, Pitney Bowes’ patents in any way," said Zumbox CEO Donn Rappaport, in a prepared statement. "Further, we had no prior knowledge of this lawsuit before Pitney Bowes filed the suit and issued its press release [Tuesday]. We are just now reviewing the suit to better understand their motives."

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