Apple n AT&T sued over iPhone's Visual Voice Mail Feature

Apple n AT&T were sued by Klausner Technologies over the iPhone's Visual Voicemail feature on monday 3 Dec. The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in the Eastern District of Texas, asserts that sales of that iPhone, Visual Voicemail and other visual voice messaging services implemented by AT&T infringe Klausner’s U.S. Patents 5,572,576 and 5,283,818.

Klausner points out that these two patents have been successfully litigated in the past and licensed to a number of other companies already. In fact, the '576 patent is one that the company recently licensed to Vonage after a settlement last month. It has reached a similar agreement with AOL over AOL Voicemail, which works in a similar manner.

In addition to this week's lawsuits against Apple and AT&T, Klausner has also filed new suits against Comcast, Cablevision, and eBay for infringement on the same '576 patent. "With the signing of each new licensee, we continue to receive further confirmation of the strength of our visual voicemail patents," said Klausner Technologies' counsel Greg Dovel in a statement.

Klausner is seeking damages estimated at $360 million from the two companies. Greg Dovel of Dovel & Luner said that Klausner has litigated this patent successfully on two prior occasions.

Klausner also filed lawsuits today against Comcast, Cablevision Systems and Skype for infringing its messaging patents and are seeking damages estimated at $300 million. The firm also sued Vonage, but they settled out of court back in October.

iPhone's Visual Voice Mail Feature allows users to listen to their messages in the order of their choice. According to the firm, AT&T and Apple infringe two patents created well over 10 years ago.