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The Postage Meter Celebrates 100 Years

Thursday, December 13, 2001

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn., December 11, 2001 -- On December 9th, 1901, inventor Arthur Pitney filed a patent application for the first postage meter. Today, Pitney Bowes Inc. holds more than 3,400 patents world wide in mail and document management that cover a range of technologies including shipping, printing, encryption, funds management and security. The spirit of innovation is alive and well at Pitney Bowes, which invests more in research and development than any other company in the industry and consistently ranks in the top 200 of all companies receiving U.S. Patents annually. "We are very proud of our history of innovation at Pitney Bowes," said Michael J. Critelli, Chairman and CEO of Pitney Bowes. "Our consistent focus on inventing and applying technology to enhance the value, reduce the cost and increase the efficiency of mail and document management helps us deliver value to customers and shareholders. From the postage meter to Postage by Phone, digital metering technology to Internet Postage, every major invention in the mailing industry has originated at Pitney Bowes. Our community of scientists and technologists have the vision and creativity to take us to the next generation of solutions." While Pitney Bowes has a wide variety of patented technologies, certainly none has come farther than the metering technology upon which the company was founded. Mechanical meters evolved into electronic meters and finally digital meters. The next generation of digital technology transforms the meter into an intelligent, two-way communications terminal capable of delivering value-added services such as tracking, delivery confirmation and rate information. Pitney Bowes is currently the world's leading provider of digital systems and is actively developing the architecture to transform its entire product line to digital to meet the needs of customers of all sizes. Each innovation has given customers enhanced access to products and services. Pitney Bowes' Postage by Phone system is a good example of using technology to increase operating efficiency. One of the world's first e-commerce applications, Postage by Phone revolutionized the mailing industry in 1979 by allowing customers to forgo physical trips to the post office and download postage via their telephone. The next generation of the system, Postage by Phone.com, was introduce in 2000 and further increase customer access and efficiency by enable users to access postage via the Internet. Internet postage is another example. In the late 1980's, Pitney Bowes received patents that cover the technology to download postage through the Internet. The company introduced the concept to the mailing industry in the 1990's. Today, Internet postage allows stamp users to securely download postage to their personal computers and print the actual postage on envelopes from their printers. Internet postage, along with the other forms of metering technology, provides added security benefits, including the ability to track each piece of mail to its point of origin. "We are proud of our long history of licensing our technology to other companies because it is part of our strategy to leverage our vast intellectual property portfolio for the benefit of our shareholders," said Sara Moss, Senior Vice President and General Counsel at Pitney Bowes. "That is also why we so vigorously protect our intellectual property and take definitive actions against those who infringe upon our patented technology. We have a fiduciary responsibility to our shareholders to protect their investment in technology and aggressively pursue legal recourse against companies that refuse to get a license and willingly infringe on our vast Intellectual Property portfolio. "We have been very successful in settling some very high profile lawsuits this year and remain strongly committed to pursuing our ongoing patent infringement cases," continued Ms. Moss. "For example, as the inventor of Internet postage, we settled our suit with E-Stamp and will pursue all legal avenues in our suit against Stamps.com." The tradition of innovation at Pitney Bowes continues with more than 80 U.S. patents issued this year alone.

 

 

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