Apple sued over voicemail 'patent infringement'

A 'patent trolling' company has filed a suit against Apple over voicemail technology used within iPad and iPhone products.

Lodging a complaint with the U.S. district court in Florida on Tuesday, Brandywine Communications Technologies is launching a suit against Apple, citing patent infringement.

Brandywine believes that the voicemail technology imbued within iPads and iPhone products infringes on two patents that the company own, based on mobile technology - patents No. 6,236,717 and 5,719,922 held in the U.S:

Patent No. 6236717:

A simultaneous voice and data modem coordinates the storage of voice messages and data messages on an audio answering machine and a personal computer, respectively.

This allows the called party to subsequently retrieve, via the simultaneous voice and data modem, both a voice message and an associated data message, i.e., a multimedia message, where the called party listens to the voice message while viewing the data message. The called party can retrieve the multimedia message either locally or from a remote location.

No. 5719922 is almost identical to the aforementioned patent, both of which were filed in 2001 and 1998 respectively.

Brandywine may not be a household name, but for enterprises, it is known for demanding 'serial' court cases. The company has already sued many industry players, including RIM, LG, Nokia, and HTC.

Last week, when the company was sued by Verizon over a separate collection of patents in spectrum technology, the communications corporation described Brandywine as a company that amasses a collection of patents, which are continually enforced through the filing of various lawsuits.

Although Brandywine has attempted in the past to sue Apple collectively, this time, it appears that the company has been singled out.

(via Gigom)

Image credit: CNet

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