Adobe Sued Over Patents After EchoSign Buy

Hours after announcing its acquisition of EchoSign, Adobe (NASDAQ:ADBE) was slapped with a suit by email-proof and electronic-signature provider RPost, which claimed EchoSigns technology infringes on several of its patents.

RPost had reportedly been in discussions with Adobe before its EchoSign purchase for a collaborative product alliance. The company has asked the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to issue a permanent injunction against Adobe to prevent further damages.

Adobe did not immediately return calls requesting a comment.

RPost alleges EchoSign and Adobe infringe on five of its 35 patents in the U.S. by making, using, importing, selling and offering for sale products and services that authenticate that a sender has electronically transmitted certain information, which includes EchoSigns online e-signature service.

The plaintiff claims as a result of the infringement it suffered an undetermined amount of monetary damages and will continue to suffer those damages unless Adobe and EchoSign stop infringing on its patents.

Calling itself one of the pioneers of the e-signature industry, RPost said its services provide senders legally valid, court admissible evidence of email content, timestamp and delivery.

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, RPost CEO Zafar Khan said. 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.

Adobe, which provides popular products such as Acrobat, Flash and Photoshop, announced on Monday that is acquiring EchoSign for an undisclosed amount. It plans to compliment its document exchange services platform utilizing EchoSigns e-signature technology.