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Valassis Awarded Patent on Use of Aztec Two-Dimensional Bar Code

Press release from the issuing company

LIVONIA, Mich., June 27 - Valassis, the leading company in marketing services and Connective Media (TM), announced that it had obtained a patent for exclusive use of the Aztec Code and similar codes for coupon promotions and tracking. The Aztec Code is a two-dimensional bar code with capabilities for data storage that are far richer than conventional linear bar codes. The patent, number 6,230,143, filed in late 1998, was granted in May 2001, and is effective immediately. Valassis has already utilized the Aztec Code for various promotional purposes, including internet coupon security, direct mail database and campaign management, as well as coupon tracking. The company plans to continue to market this technology aggressively under its new patent protection. "This patent grant gives Valassis a clear market advantage. It affords us the exclusive rights to an extremely useful marketing tool that our competitors cannot access,'' said Barry P. Hoffman, Executive Vice President and General Counsel. The Aztec Code can be used as a method for analyzing coupon redemption data, and contains a database component, which can contain both consumer and client information. The analysis system contains an extract module that retrieves information from the database, an editor program that formats the extracted information, a printing tool for encoding the data template onto a printed page, as well as a data recovery system. Data is recovered through a scanning device provided at the point of sale, or at the point of back-end analysis.

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