Tag - VoIP
A fourth lawsuit against Apple over alleged infringement of patents used by FaceTime has been filed, this time by Straight Path Group. The lawsuit, filed in the Northern California District Court, claims that FaceTime infringes on five patents previously owned by NetSpeak, which made the popular VOIP application WebPhone in the mid-1990s. As with previous suits underway by patent trolls VirnetX, VOIP-Pal, and Uniloc, the suit covers older and more general audio-video patents allegedly used by Apple in its FaceTime and Messages technologies.
Non-practicing entity Uniloc, whose sole source of revenue is patent lawsuits and licensing, has taken to the patent-holder haven of the Eastern Texas Court District to sue Apple over four VOIP patents it claims are being infringed by Apple's Messages app. The company has filed dozens of lawsuits against big tech firms, but had its largest win -- a $388 million judgement against Microsoft -- overturned. While Apple's Messages gained some VOIP components in 2014, Uniloc has waited until now to file suit.
Non-practicing entity, and the holder of defunct Digifonica's patent portfolio, VoIP-Pal has resumed a patent infringement lawsuit against Apple originally filed in February, seeking $2.8 billion in iPhone, iPad, and Mac profits over a "caller attribute classification and routing product design" patent originally created by Digifonica -- a patent similar to the feature used in Apple's Messages app that determines if texts should be delivered through Apple's own servers (seen as blue-colored texts) or routed through normal cellular-provider SMS networks.
Messaging service Line is expanding the usability of its Android app, and soon iPhone, from being able to make free calls to other Line members, by adding the option to call phones. Line Call will let users make calls to people in eight markets at a flat rate per minute, bringing the messaging app into direct competition with Microsoft's Skype, as well as potential calling plans from WhatsApp.
WhatsApp, the messaging client being acquired by Facebook for $19 billion, could soon add voice calling to its features list, according to reportedly leaked screenshots. The images of the apparent VoIP interface comes at the same time as a video surfaces, seemingly demonstrating an updated version of the client for Windows Phone that is claimed to still be in beta.
Japanese retailer Rakuten has acquired Cyprus-based VoIP and messaging service Viber. The purchase, worth a total of $900 million, will see the Japanese Internet giant take control of Skype's biggest competitor, with the company claiming the purchase of Viber "perfectly complements Rakuten's strategy in the digital space" in its bid to become the "world's No.1 Internet services company."
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken its first steps in overhauling the analog telephone system in the United States, by authorizing voluntary testing by carriers. The unanimous vote will allow telecommunication providers, such as AT&T, to experiment with landlines in various ways, such as providing an IP-based telephone service to its customers.
Eidos Montreal, via Twitter, has announced that Deus Ex: The Fall will be released for iOS on July 11. The game is set after the events of the Deus EX: The Icarus Effect novel, and will act as a prequel to some of the other games already available on consoles. Along with the announcement, Eidos also posted a new gameplay trailer to its YouTube page and has made various free wallpapers and ringtones available on its website. Deus Ex: The Fall will sell for $7 at launch and will be restricted to the iPad 3 and above, iPhone 4S and above, and iPod Touch 5 and above.
Facebook has enabled its free voice calling feature in Facebook Messenger to Android users in the United States and around the world, months after the iOS version. After an initial roll-out in Canada and the UK, the Android version of Facebook Messenger allows users to tap the 'i' button on a contact, and then offers the Free Call option. The sudden release of the feature in the US follows the launch of the Facebook Home launcher, which introduces an Android overlay that allows for greater use of the social network.
Facebook users in the US and Canada who are online with the service can now call each other for free on the main Facebook iOS app, a feature formerly restricted to the Facebook Messenger program. The feature, which works over both Wi-Fi and 3G/LTE connections, allows friends to start a chat session and then change it into a voice call. Currently the feature works with the iPhone or iPod Touch version of the Facebook app only, but should arrive to the iPad version through an update expected soon.