updated 03:45 pm EST, Mon December 3, 2007
Visual voicemail lawsuit
Apple has been hit with yet another lawsuit concerning the design and implementation of the iPhone. Klausner Technologies, a company that claims to be the inventor of the modern PDA, is suing Apple for $360 million over patents 5,572,576 and 5,283,818, which allegedly describe functionality used by the iPhone's visual voicemail feature. The firm is also suing Comcast, eBay and Cablevision under the same guise. Klausner has already licensed these patents to AOL, Vonage and others. The crux of the suit holds that Apple violated Klausner's patents by allowing users to selectively retrieve voice messages via an inbox-type display.
A press release from Klausner notes that the 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. "With the signing of each new licensee, we continue to receive further confirmation of the strength of our visual voicemail patents."
Klausner further claims that Apple's original PDA, the Newton, was, in fact, covered under an OEM patent license granted by Judah Klausner over twenty years ago: US Patent 4,117,542.
Apple has filed for a number of iPhone-related patents, including one for the multitouch keyboard, two for design and trademark, movable interfaces and more. The company has also faced a series of non-patent related iPhone suits, including one that claims the company deliberately misled consumers as to the practical costs of the iPhone.