Those 200 iPhone-Related Patents Don't Seem To Be Stopping Patent Infringement Lawsuits

from the welcome-to-the-patent-thicket dept

When the iPhone was first announced, Steve Jobs proudly hyped up the 200 patents the company had filed around the various parts of the device. However, we were among those who wondered what the point of all those patents were — as most of the concepts were widely known, and Apples real innovation was putting them all together in a nice usable package. And, if Steve Jobs thought that the announcement of those 200 patents would scare off patent infringement lawsuits, he was clearly mistaken. The iPhone has already been accused of patent infringement for the touchscreen and the virtual keyboard, and now Klausner Technologies has sued the company for its visual voicemail offering. If Klausner sounds familiar to you, that’s because it’s the company that sued both AOL and Vonage for daring to display voicemail information on a screen (yes, apparently that concept is patented). Vonage, of course, recently settled with Klausner, giving it the cash to take on a big fish like Apple. Considering Apple’s notorious willingness to pay up when accused of patent infringement, even on the most ridiculous patents, this strategy probably makes sense for Klausner, but it’s hard to see how it furthers the cause of innovation.

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Companies: apple, klausner

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Comments on “Those 200 iPhone-Related Patents Don't Seem To Be Stopping Patent Infringement Lawsuits”

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14 Comments
AlbinoRhino says:

If Klausner has a legitimate claim to be made then they should be concerned about infringements. People spend a lot of money in research and development and unfortunately it is often not with the frame of mind as to how it will benefit man. It is about how can I make a product that sells.

Apple accomplished quite a feat by entering a tough market in the cell phone industry and being successful in it. This will help them to make people aware of the tons of other products that they have to offer.

Brad Eleven (profile) says:

Mike said:

…just because you come up with an idea, you shouldn’t get the right to charge whoever else figures out how to successfully market the idea.

I struggled with this for a bit before I realized what I think you’re saying: there’s a line between imagining something and actually inventing it. How much work must be applied in order to get the patent? Drawings? Specifications? A prototype?

It would appear that the presently respected line between imagination and invention is as fuzzy as the mood of the patent office employee on a particular day–or the inclination of a judge in Marshall, Texas.

I think that patent law is the most obvious example of how the law of the land has failed to keep pace with the present state of technology. Without reform–or at the very least, a rigorous definition of invention–patents will be regarded as even more irrelevant than music copyrights.

Joe Shmo says:

Give me a break

Is this even close to being applicable ?

Patent 5572576
Telephone answering device linking displayed data with recorded audio message

What is claimed is:
1. A telephone message system coupled to a telephone line for automatically answering incoming telephone calls and storing and retrieving information from the incoming telephone calls, comprising:
(a) a telephone answering device, which comprises:
means for receiving first signals from said telephone line, each of said first signals specifying a particular one of a plurality of callers;

followed by alot of blah blah blah

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