Voice over IP (VoIP), a technology for the delivery of voice communications and multimedia sessions over the Internet, is at the heart of an unbelievable $2.8 billion patent infringement lawsuit that VoIP-Pal, a Bellevue-based company, filed this morning against the iPhone maker.
“We are confident the current good will on both sides will result in a favorable outcome for all parties involved,” said VoIP-Pal CEO Emil Malak in a prepared statement.
The Cupertino firm’s iMessage and FaceTime services allegedly use VoIP-Pal’s patented technology without authorization. VoIP-Pal has filed similar lawsuits against carriers AT&T and Verizon in Las Vegas court.
VoIP-Pal remains open to an amicable solution
According to court documents, Apple employs VoIP-Pal’s patented technology in FaceTime and iMessage and has “widely distributed infringing products”.
“Instead of pursuing independent product development, Apple employed VoIP-Pal’s innovative caller attribute classification and routing product design, in violation of VoIP-Pal’s valuable intellectual property rights,” as per court papers.
Apple’s messaging system contains a feature that automatically falls back to SMS when iMessage is unavailable. That feature is the subject of VoIP-Pal’s bold patent infringement claim.
Apple directly and indirectly practices certain claims of VoIP-Pal’s ‘815 patent “in order to determine the classification of a user, and, subsequently, how the call should be routed,” according to court documents.
Is VoIP-Pal a patent troll?
VoIP-Pal’s combined patent infringement lawsuits against Apple, AT&T and Verizon are worth an astounding $7 billion. So, how did they come up with the $2.8 billion figure in Apple’s case?
Easy, their lawyers have applied a 1.25 percent royalty rate to Apple’s estimated device profit margins—55 percent for the iPhone, 35 percent for the iPad and ten percent for the Mac—resulting in a massive $2,836,710,031 royalty fee claim.
VoIP-Pal has been in talks with Apple, AT&T and Verizon over solving the dispute and remains open to licensing or selling out its technology to the defendants.