QR Code Lawsuit: Could You Be Sued For Using a Barcode on Direct Mail?

qr_codeA few days ago, I learned from an industry source that a group calling themselves “Secured Mail Solutions” is filing lawsuits against a number of high-profile companies claiming infringement on two patents related to QR codes.  At MindFire, a number of our Clients utilize QR codes within their multi-channel marketing automation workflows, so my interest was piqued.

The lawsuit includes some fairly well-known companies like RR Donnelley, Harte-Hanks, Microdynamics, Vertis and others.

It was explained to me that these patents both pertain to the use of a barcode on direct mail, where the barcode is linked to a database for purposes of tracking. This description seems to include QR codes, as well as POSTNET barcodes.

Please note that I have not had time to personally investigate these claims — nor seek legal counsel — so don’t take my post as a statement of fact, nor any official position from our company.  I’m merely musing on what I’ve heard.

Secured Mail Solutions appears to be a company that owns the patents that are being enforced; you can see more here: http://securedmailsolutions.com/Intellectual_Property.html. If the lawsuits have merit, it could be somewhat disruptive for the industry, since there’s so much hoopla about using QR codes in marketing campaigns.

It also seems like this lawsuit would eventually have to involve the US Postal Service, since they now require the use of barcodes.

Lawsuit Information

Here’s what I’ve found:

Filed on: Jan. 30, 2013

Type: Complaint for Patent Infringement

1. Microdynamics Inc
2. Envelopes Unlimited Inc
3. Harte-Hanks Direct Inc
4. Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing Cincinnati Inc
5. Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing Baltimore Inc
6. Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing Jacksonville LLC
7. Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing Dallas Inc
8. Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing Fullerton Inc
9. Harte-Hanks Inc
10 Harte-Hanks Direct Marketing Kansas City LLC
11. Harte-Hanks Print Inc
12. Microdynamics Group Inc
13. Microdynamics Corporation
14. R R Donnelley and Sons Company
15. Vertis Inc
16. Vertis Holdings Inc
17. Advanced Image Direct LLC

Plaintiff(s): Secured Mail Solutions LLC

Patent(s) in Suit:
• 7,814,032: “System and method for mail verification” by Fitzsimmons.. Includes 22 claims (2 indep.). Was application 11/519,739. Filed 9/11/2006 & Granted 10/12/2010.
• 7,818,268: “System and method for mail verification” by Fitzsimmons.. Includes 56 claims (3 indep.). Was application 10/271,471. Filed 10/15/2002 & Granted 10/19/2010.

What do you think?  If you have time to look into this, leave me your thoughts in the comments.  As soon as I have more information, I’ll post an update.

Israel Diary Day 7: Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee (+photos)

israel_day_7This is the seventh day in my Israel diary, where I’m attending the HP Indigo VIP Event in Tel Aviv.  See Day 1 in Tel Aviv hereDay 2 in Jerusalem and Bethlehem hereDay 3 at the HP Indigo offices in Nes-Ziona hereDay 4 at Pageflex and Caesarea here, Day 5 at the HP Indigo Plant in Kiryat Gat here, and Day 6 here.

Today, HP has arranged for two tour options: Jerusalem, or Nazareth and the Sea of Galilee.  Since I’ve already visited Jerusalem, and given that President Obama is said to be tying up significant amounts of the city and corresponding traffic, I decide to head to Nazareth and Galilee.

A fantastic tour guide leads our bus, and two Vision staff members join us for the day.  Vision is the company that HP used to facilitate the HP Indigo event.

Yonatan is our 24-year old security detail, and is tall (probably 6’3″), and armed with a pistol stuck in his Read more of this post

Update on (Homeless) Dave [+some things he needs]


Dave heads back into the city he calls home.

After about a month of little contact, Dave and I were able to connect this morning.  As we headed to and from Rock Harbor, he shared his feelings, thoughts, and hopes.

(If you missed the last post about how we lost contact, as well as the letter Dave gave me to post for you, click here.)

Having passed the 1 year mark of being without a home, his spirits are challenged.  Not only is it hard being on the street, but he’s also seeing friends affected by drugs and alcohol.  Others have become “comfortable,” and their lack of desire to change their lifestyle worries him.

Dave is tired, dirty, sleeping poorly, and a bit depressed — but remains hopeful that the OC Rescue Mission will provide a gateway to getting back on his feet.  Click here to read a post about my visit to the amazing OC Rescue Mission.

That said, I’m continually amazed by his ability to easily interact with others, and socialize with people he barely knows.  I saw that (again) today, and it reminds me what an amazing person lies beneath the tired exterior.

This past week, Dave’s backpack was stolen, which unfortunately contained a lot of his basic necessities.  I asked him what he needed, and while he hesitated to ask for anything, he finally relented and gave me a list of things he needs most.

If you feel led to contribute, I’ve provided a few ways at the bottom of this post:

  • Phone charger (not for iPhone, but the kind that looks like a small USB); his last one was stolen
  • Verizon phone card, for his pay-as-you-go phone
  • Size 10 shoes; his current shoes have holes in the them from walking and facing the elements
  • Backpack; his trusty companion was recently stolen from outside Starbucks (including everything in it)
  • Hair cut, if anyone works in a  salon or is willing to help, please let me know
  • Bus pass, which helps him get to places he collects cans, check his mail, and hopefully soon, interview at the OC Rescue Mission

Again, do not feel you need to do anything.  I told him to have no expectations, but that I would bring these needs before you, Team Dave, and we’ll see what happens.

Here’s how you can contribute:

  • Give me the items (if you know me personally, you know how), or arrange a way via the comments below
  • Mail stuff to:

Care of David Rosendahl
30 Corporate Park, Suite 400
Irvine, CA 92606

In the comments, please let me know if you have any questions, or if you are able to meet any of the needs so that I can cross them off.

Thanks for joining me in this journey!


Israel Diary Day 6: HP Indigo VIP Event, Tel Aviv (+photos)

cover_shot_joffa_goodThis is the sixth day in my Israel diary, where I’m attending the HP Indigo VIP Event in Tel Aviv.  See Day 1 in Tel Aviv hereDay 2 in Jerusalem and Bethlehem here, Day 3 at the HP Indigo offices in Nes-Ziona here, Day 4 at Pageflex and Caesarea here, and Day 5 at the HP Indigo Plant in Kiryat Gat here.

Today, HP has arranged another full day of events.  In the morning, I take part in a session conducted by Vivian Cohen-Leisorek, who is Strategic Marketing Product Manager for HP, where she discusses various creative applications of digital printing powered by the Indigo.  It’s exciting to see how Clients have utilized the technology — and many of them are MindFire Clients.  Love seeing that!

Next, Lior Krasnovsky reviews SmartStream Production Center, which is a product we’ve integrated with, and describes how it helps to improve the processing of a large volume of short-run jobs. Read more of this post

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