Klausner Technologies: The new NTP?

Klausner Technologies, a company founded by Judah Klausner who invented the PDA, is suing Apple, AT&T over iPhone's visual voicemail patents. For good measure Klausner is suing Comcast, Cablevision and eBay's Skype.

Klausner Technologies, a company founded by Judah Klausner who invented the PDA, is suing Apple, AT&T over iPhone's visual voicemail patents. For good measure Klausner is suing Comcast, Cablevision and eBay's Skype.

Sound familiar?

It should Klausner almost sounds like NTP, which sued Research in Motion and won a patent infringement suit for a cool $612.5 million. If it worked for NTP it's really hard to blame Klausner for giving the court system a go. After all, Klausner already settled with Time Warner's AOL and Vonage.

The patents in question are U.S. Patent 5,572,576 and 5,283,818.

First up, Apple.

Klausner says it wants damages and future royalties of about $360 million from Apple. In a statement Monday Klausner says:

Klausner Technologies was founded by Judah Klausner, the inventor of the PDA and electronic organizer. Apple’s original groundbreaking PDA, the Newton, was, in fact, covered under an OEM patent license granted by Judah Klausner over twenty years ago under his landmark US Patent 4,117,542.

The iPhone violates Klausner’s intellectual property rights by allowing users to selectively retrieve voice messages via the iPhone’s inbox display. Apple has called iPhone’s Visual Voicemail “one of the greatest advances in the history of mankind ... without question.”

Cut and paste that lawsuit and then run over to AT&T for another $360 million. After all, AT&T is selling the iPhone.

Klausner is also seeking $300 million in damages and future royalties from Comcast, Cablevision and eBay.

In a statement, Klausner says:

Cablevision’s Optimum Voicemail, Comcast’s Digital Voice Voicemail and eBay’s Skype Voicemail each violate Klausner’s intellectual property rights by allowing users to selectively retrieve and listen to voice messages via message inbox displays.

Best excerpt:

The suit has been 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.”

Translation: Hey it worked twice already why not extract more cash. These things add up.

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