On July 19, RPost, the inventor of Registered Email services and a self-proclaimed pioneer of electronic signature services, announced that it has brought suit against Adobe related to the electronic signature services provided by EchoSign, which Adobe announced it acquired on July 18, 2011.
RPost has determined that EchoSign's electronic signature services are based on RPost patented technology. Thus RPost has brought suit for infringing five of RPost's U.S. patents-patent numbers 6,182,219; 6,571,334; 7,707,624; 7,865,557 and 7,966,372. RPost has asked the U.S. federal court to issue an injunction against Adobe to prevent further damages.
"Electronically signing a document is not difficult," said Zafar Khan, CEO of RPost, in a statement. "Just typing your name at the bottom of a document or email can have all the legal force of a handwritten signature if all parties have proof that you are the author of the specific content. But if you don't have that proof, then electronic signing is legally worthless. The key element in any system of electronic signature is creating a legally meaningful audit trail of every step of the signature process and associating that audit trail with particular electronic document content. When part of that audit trail involves email, it is on our turf: We pioneered the technology for proof of email and document delivery, including recording recipient reply or signoff on the message content, and have the patents to prove it."
RPost claims that its electronic signature and Registered Email services provide senders with legally valid, court admissible evidence of email content, timestamp and delivery, with options to record the recipient's consent to attached contracts with legal electronic signatures.
RPost was founded in 2000 and has 35 patents that have priority over technology dating back to 1995, the company said. These patents broadly cover the technologies of verifiable proof for email delivery, recording recipient consent associated with received messages and documents, and value-added outbound email processing, RPost officials said.
Adobe officials said EchoSign's electronic signature solution will be a key component of the company's document exchange services platform for reliably exchanging documents for universal access, review and approval.
EchoSign's solution supports more than 3 million users, Adobe said. The solution will be offered as part of Adobe's online document exchange services platform and will be integrated with other Adobe document services, including SendNow for managed file transfer, FormsCentral for form creation and CreatePDF for online PDF creation.
"Adobe's document solutions help organizations turn inefficient, paper-based workflows into streamlined electronic ones," said Kevin M. Lynch, vice president and general manager of Acrobat Solutions and Digital Enterprise Solutions at Adobe, in a statement. "By adding electronic signature capabilities to Adobe's document exchange services platform, we will be addressing the need to provide better customer experiences by significantly reducing the time, cost and complexity associated with having a document signed."