updated 03:20 pm EDT, Tue August 26, 2008
Klausner Sues VZW and Goog
Klausner Technologies today grew the scope of its licensing claims by suing multiple other companies it believes are treading on its patents for a visual voicemail system. The company claims that software developed by Google, LG, Verizon and six other firms are violating patents from 1992 onwards for a system that permits listening to voicemail out of order through a graphical interface.
Each of the companies currently implements some form of visual voicemail, such as Google's technology in Grand Central or its Google Talk Voicemail feature. Verizon just recently launched its own Visual Voice Mail service as an optional component of the LG Voyager and other phones.
The suit arrives on the heels of a settlement over the iPhone with Apple and AT&T, which along with fellow defendants Cablevision and Comcast were targeted in similar complaints that their visual voicemail systems also infringed on the patents. Klausner, which is owned by its namesake Jules Klausner, initially demanded as much as $360 million in collective damages, creating pressure for a settlement instead of a potentially costly trial.
Sprint uses its own form of visual voicemail with the Samsung Instinct but dodged a lawsuit by agreeing to a license before it could be included in a lawsuit.
Klausner Technologies hasn't revealed its hoped-for damages but is requesting a jury trial for its complaint in Tyler, Texas, a region known to be friendly to companies that stake their livelihood on suing for patent royalties.