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Pitney Bowes Announces the 'Invention of the Year' Award Winner

Press release from the issuing company

STAMFORD, Conn., June 3 -- Pitney Bowes Inc announced its 13th annual Invention of the Year Award at a dinner ceremony held last night at the company's headquarters in Stamford, Connecticut. Rick Ryan, a Senior Fellow in the Advanced Concepts & Technology, won the prize as Inventor of the Year for US Patent #6,816,838, entitled "Production Mail System Having Subsidies for Printing of Third Party Messages on Mail Pieces". Mr. Ryan is a prolific inventor and has received over 50 U.S. patents during his career at Pitney Bowes Inc. Ryan's system facilitates the placement of 3rd party targeted advertisements (messages, coupons, web sites addresses, etc.) on the white space of envelopes. Specifically, the invention provides an automated solution for Pitney Bowes to broker the transaction between the mailer and the advertiser. By using information within the recipient's address (geography, zip code, demographic data, etc.), an advertiser can target its messages by choosing the messages it wants to place on any given envelope while excluding those envelopes that do not fit their target parameters. With Ryan's system the advertiser gets a more targeted direct mail piece while the mailer can subsidize the cost of its mailings with advertising revenue. "This invention provides another example of Pitney Bowes 'Engineering the Flow of Communication(TM)' by applying information technology and process improvements to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of our customers' communications and helping them grow their revenue, find new customers and lower their costs," said Michael J. Critelli, Chairman and CEO, Pitney Bowes Inc. Rick Ryan lives in Oxford, Connecticut with his wife, Kim and two daughters. He graduated from MIT and has been with Pitney Bowes for 18 years. Previously he was on the team that developed the online postage solution and is currently working on developing security models for a personal postage meter. He's an elder with the Bethany Christian Church in Stratford and is a member of the Connecticut Chorale Society. In addition to the Invention of the Year, two other Pitney Bowes inventors won awards for being granted 8 U.S. patents each in 2004 covering such diverse areas of technology as diagnostics, detecting contaminants in mailing equipment, enclosure feeding and sheet cutting. "It's notable that the winners of this award, John Sussmeier and Gregory Skinger, collaborated on four patents with one another in 2004," said Critelli. "Teamwork is a core value of our company and this award reinforces our operational principle that we are partners in everything we do."