US startup challenges Swiss Post on home turf

17th June 2011, Comments 0 comments

A US firm that specializes in verifying email delivery is expanding into Europe and challenging the Swiss Post, which it has accused of brazen patent infringement.

RPost told AFP on Thursday that it is opening offices in Zurich, Amsterdam, London and elsewhere to pave the way toward adapting services to the requirements of courts throughout Europe.

"In each country, more customers are looking for electronic solutions to deliver important legal documents and contracts," said RPost chief executive Zafar Khan.

"RPost technology is the catalyst for companies to reduce cost and expedite business as the marketplace continues to move from paper, mail, courier, fax and imaging to electronic messaging."

RPost in February accused Switzerland's postal service of intentionally violating patented technology for proving email messages have been delivered.

The California-based firm is asking courts in the US and Zurich to put the brakes on Swiss Post's IncaMail, which it claims "mimics" a Registered Email service it sold by RPost.

The Swiss Post has denied the "IncaMail 3.0" service violated any patents and vowed Swiss Post would defend its technology platform.

"They argue that these patents are invalid," Khan said of the legal dispute on Thursday. "Whether or not that is so is something the courts will decide.

Registered Email is crafted to provide legal proof that a message and its contents made it to a recipient.

"Most disputes happen because there is a question of who said what to whom and when," Khan said.

The US government began using RPost services about eight years ago and a US version of Registered Email became available in Switzerland in 2004.

RPost on February 15 petitioned a commercial court in Zurich for an injunction to halt IncaMail there on grounds it infringes on two RPost patents in Europe.

RPost made a similar petition in a California federal court based on US patents it argued are being violated by Swiss Post.

© 2011 AFP

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