Klausner Sues Google and Verizon for Visual Voicemail

Emboldened by settlements with Apple and AT&T, inventor Judah Klausner filed a voicemail patent lawsuit on Tuesday against Google, Verizon Communications, LG Electronics, Comverse Technology, Citrix Systems, and Embarq. Anticipating the attack, Verizon filed its own lawsuit against Klausner two weeks ago in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York that seeks to have a federal judge declare the inventor's visual voicemail patent invalid.

The new case involves claims by Klausner tied to patents in various countries he began receiving in 1992 for "visual voicemail"—applying a graphical way of interacting with voicemail messages that allow it to be used like e-mail. In June, Apple, which recently popularized "visual voicemail" through its hit iPhone device, together with AT&T and eBay, the owner of Web-based calling service Skype, settled a patent suit filed last December by Klausner. Klausner previously sued and won settlements from Time Warner's AOL and Vonage.

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15 Comments

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Even though he had applied for those patents so long ago, this seems WAY too general. Even so, shouldn't these companies be doing some research into this kind of thing first? I guess they hope these people won't notice or figure the cost to fight them in court/settle is less than acquiring the patent properly (not really sure what that would entail though, I guess the patent owner would want to go on some kind of royalty system rather than a lump sum).

He started getting the patents in 1992. This is genuine. He came up with the idea i think before it would have been able to be done cheaply if at all.

Did the guy actually have a working implementation of visual voicemail? I'm against people just dreaming **** up and creating patents. If you do not have a means to implement what is described in the patent, you should lose it.

(Shadrack said @ #4)
Did the guy actually have a working implementation of visual voicemail? I'm against people just dreaming **** up and creating patents. If you do not have a means to implement what is described in the patent, you should lose it.

Just because someone can't immediately conceptualize an idea, doesn't mean they shouldn't get the patent. A patent is to protect your idea while you figure out how you can realize that idea. I've had a number of ideas, but haven't tried to apply for a patent because I had no idea how I would ever produce something.

(SirEvan said @ #4.1)

Just because someone can't immediately conceptualize an idea, doesn't mean they shouldn't get the patent. A patent is to protect your idea while you figure out how you can realize that idea. I've had a number of ideas, but haven't tried to apply for a patent because I had no idea how I would ever produce something.

I disagree. There needs to be a way to challenge a patent holder when they do not produce the patented idea.

(Orlando Rays said @ #3.1)
Now doing this, finding something that is already used but not patented by anybody, is the kind of thing that can get laughed out of court.

In that case I'm going to file a patent for building a lunar base on the moon.

(Murkey said @ #3.3)
Why not try a lunar base on Mars?

Well, duh! Then it wouldn't be a lunar base! It would be a martian base.

Unlike most patent suits , his case seems genuine , all these companies infringed on his patent without compensation ...