Printer patent lawsuit charges Apple, Xerox, others

Just weeks after it received US$400 million to settle a patent dispute with Hewlett-Packard, office equipment maker Pitney Bowes has filed legal actions against eight more companies over their alleged misuse of the same technology.

Pitney Bowes said it filed the lawsuits to protect a patented technology used to enhance resolution in laser jet printing. The suits target Apple, Xerox, Lexmark, Panasonic, NEC, Samsung, and Matsushita Electric, and were filed in U.S. District Court in Connecticut, Pitney Bowes said in a statement.

Pitney Bowes is in discussions with the eight companies and hopes to find a "business resolution" to its claims, Michael Melton, Pitney Bowes' deputy general counsel, said in the statement.

An NEC spokesman declined to comment on the lawsuit. Apple, Lexmark, Matsushita and Xerox did not immediately return calls seeking comment, and the other companies could not be reached.

Earlier this month, HP dished up $400 million to Pitney Bowes to settle a similar lawsuit filed in 1995. HP settled that case without any admission of guilt.

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