Klausner Technologies, Inc. announced today that it has filed a patent lawsuit under its visual voicemail patents against Apple Inc. and AT&T Wireless regarding the iPhone, with damages and future royalties estimated at US$360 million (according to Klausner’s press release).
The lawsuit asserts that Apple’s iPhone Visual Voicemail and other visual voice messaging services implemented by ATT infringe upon Klausner Technologies’ U.S. Patents 5,572,576 and 5,283,818. These patents have already been licensed to various other companies that provide visual voicemail, including Time Warner’s AOL for its AOL Voicemail services, Vonage Holdings for its Vonage Voicemail Plus services as well as others, under the Klausner Patents.
Klausner Technologies was founded by Judah Klausner, the inventor of the PDA and electronic organizer. Apple’s original groundbreaking PDA, the Newton, was, in fact, covered under an OEM patent license granted by Judah Klausner over twenty years ago under his landmark US Patent 4,117,542.
The iPhone violates Klausner’s intellectual property rights by allowing users to selectively retrieve voice messages via the iPhone’s inbox display. Apple, in their marketing materials, has called iPhone’s Visual Voicemail “one of the greatest advances in the history of mankind … without question.”
The suit has been filed by the California law firm of Dovel & Luner in a federal court in the Eastern District of Texas. “We have litigated this patent successfully on two prior occasions,” said Greg Dovel of Dovel & Luner, counsel for Klausner Technologies, in the press release. “With the signing of each new licensee, we continue to receive further confirmation of the strength of our visual voicemail patents.”
Klausner Technologies owns U.S. and international patents covering visual voicemail products and services which allow users to selectively retrieve individual voice messages via their cell phones and PCs.