Apple, AT&T settle visual voicemail patent claims

Apple and AT&T said Monday they had reached a licensing agreement with Klausner Technologies over two of that company's patents related to visual voicemail.

Klausner filed suit in December, asking for damages and royalties totaling $460 million. Separate cases have also been filed against Comcast, Cablevision, and Skype for an additional $300 million in damages. Reuters also reports that the firm has settled with Skype parent company eBay and with US iPhone carrier AT&T as well, both of which will be licensing the patents. Discussions with Comcast and Cablevision are said to be "ongoing."

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Neither the terms of the settlement nor the amount the two companies paid to license the technologies were made public.

Klausner's activities have prompted some to refer to it as the "next NTP," referring to the patent-holding company that most famously settled with RIM for $612.5 million two years ago. However, existing case law seems to side with Klausner.

Vonage and AOL also attempted to litigate with Klausner, but ended up settling with the company and licensing its technologies. In every case, the company has asserted its patent allowing the selection of voicemails to be played from an on-screen display.

The patents in question are 5,572,576 and 5,283,818, issued in 1994 and 1996.

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