Google Settles Patent Lawsuit From Klausner So It Can Launch Google Voice

from the funny-how-that-works... dept

I was a bit disappointed earlier this week to see that Google had settled a patent infringement lawsuit filed against it by Judah Klausner. Klausner has been going around for years and years suing tons of companies, claiming that any sort of "visual voicemail" offering violates his patent. He's been quite successful getting big companies to settle, which suggests he probably sets his demands at a point just slightly cheaper than it would cost to fight him. It's difficult to see why the concept is even remotely patentable. I remember talking to people about similar ideas for ages. All it basically does is apply an email interface to voicemail. That's not anything special, and hardly "nonobvious to those skilled in the art."

But companies keep settling -- and it's obvious now why Google did so. Just days after the settlement, Google has announced its new Google Voice offering which (wouldn't you know it?) includes a visual voicemail component. These days, it seems like paying off patent hoarders even for ideas that plenty of folks came up with on their own, is just a "cost of doing business."
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Filed Under: google voice, patents, visual voicemail
Companies: google, klausner


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  1. identicon
    Willton, 12 Mar 2009 @ 11:01pm

    Re: Re: Nothing is obvious to the stupid???

    To take a horse carriage and replace the horse with another form of power unit such as an engine and transmission and call it an automobile, not obvious at all right??? To take ages old paper systems and turn them into a mimicking electronic systems, not obvious at all??? This is just "voice to text" transforming one thing to another like in kind, nature does it all the time but not moronically obvious at all, are we going to patent nature now? This is just more RIM crap.

    Ironically, bigpicture does not see the big picture. As AC noted, this patent has a priority date back in 1992. If you can show us how it would be truly obvious to one skilled in the art in 1992 or earlier to create this technology, then maybe you have a point. Otherwise this is just an emotionally charged, slippery-slope argument that lacks a basis in reason.

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