Apple Sued Over Visual Voicemail

The iPhone is being subjected to yet another lawsuit. Klausner Technologies is claiming that Apple’s Visual Voicemail infringes their patent, something they’ve successfully claimed against AOL and Vonage in the past.
 
Two of Klausner’s patents, 5283818 and 5572576, filed back in 1992 and 1994 are the subject of the $360million lawsuit. Both patents are pretty much identical, bar the inclusion of a remote device in the latter:

"A telephone answering device (TAD) which includes a means of intelligently organizing voice messages, associated entered codes such as personal IDs and home telephone numbers, and information stored in the memory of the TAD.

When processed with codes and personal information previously entered into the device’s memory, the TAD displays the identity of the callers for each message, thus providing a menu of choices, i.e., a list of callers. This enables the user to access messages in a selective manner based on the identity of the caller. The need to listen to the actual voice messages to determine the caller’s identity and the need to listen to the messages sequentially or chronologically is obviated, saving both time and effort.

Additionally, because the voice message is also linked to pre-stored additional data in the data base, when hearing a message, one also can view relevant associated information, such as a fax number, etc., that might not have been left in the audio message but might be important."

Sounds like Visual Voicemail.

"The iPhone violates Klausner’s intellectual property rights by allowing the user to selectively retrieve voice messages via the iPhone’s inbox display," the company said in a statement.

AT&T are also mentioned in the suit for selling the iPhone, as well as Skype for a similar system.

Klausner has successfully defended their patents against AOL and Vonage in previous years, and now both companies license the patent.

"We have litigated this patent successfully on two prior occasions," Greg Dovel of Dovel & Luner, counsel for Klausner Technologies, said in a statement. "With the signing of each new licensee, we continue to receive further confirmation of the strength of our visual voice mail patents."

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