Image courtesty of Nuance
Boca Raton, Fla.-based Control Systems Inc., known for its Copitrak brand of copier and printout monitoring software, has been acquired by Nuance Communications Inc. for an undisclosed amount.
About 500-600 U.S. law firms purchase software for tracking and billing their office equipment use, said industry consultant Rob Mattern, of Mattern & Associates. Nuance already owns one of three top players in the niche Equitrac Corp., which it acquired in May 2011 so the market is now a two-horse race between Nuance and Tempe, Ariz.-based nQueue Inc., Mattern said.
Nuance officials in Burlington, Mass. said in a brief statement that Copitrak will augment the Equitrac product by expanding their North American customer base. The acquisition does not apply to Copitrak's overseas businesses and partners, they said.
Since Nuance and Copitrak both manufacture and license software to bill back the use of office equipment, Nuance may be challenged to decide which Copitrak product lines to continue and which to gradually phase out. In different letters to both company's customers, viewed by Law Technology News, Nuance said it will "accelerate innovation" of new Equitrac products but only promised "ongoing support and investment" for Copitrak products.
Nuance also faces a patent dispute. Copitrak is being sued by nQueue, which owns patents on integrating tracking software with copy machines. Equitrac faced the same dispute but reached a settlement, nQueue officials said. Officials at nQueue did not comment on the pending litigation with Copitrak.