by Mike Masnick
Mon, Dec 3rd 2007 10:08pm
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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