VoIP-Pal slaps Apple with $2.8 billion lawsuit over patent used in FaceTime and iMessage

By , May 10, 2016

iOS 9 FaceTime icon full size

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.

Source: VoIP-Pal

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  • chjode

    Facetime from 2010? And they’re just suing now? Odd.

    • Joshua The-Legend Wiebe

      Patent trolls

    • Mallouk Malek

      Maybe, not sure tho, it was something that apple implemented in the latest iOS version ?

  • Guy

    The lawsuit is stupid. For that sue the whole tech industry for Voice over IP (VoIP). Sue the world after that.

  • Rodney Coleman

    Everyone taking a shot at Apple. Especially since Samsung couldn’t win no more.

    • Rowan09

      People will always sue once you become rich, it’s not surprising at all.

  • M_thoroughbred

    iMessage and Facetime are how old now? And they have waited that long why? If you own a patent and you feel that someone has infringe on your intellectual property then you should have a year to stop such infringement through the court. If you hold a patent and do and easily this long to “correct” the wrong then it shouldn’t be a lawsuit but a bargaining agreement to be met from that point on

    • Wilber Alexander Flores

      The longer they wait the more devices using that feature the more they add to the revenue. That’s the way I see it I guess as the phone or idevice would have to be able to use FaceTime and support iMessage which I guess is from the iPhone 4 up 🙂 just assumptions I guess. But I’m just talking shit probably

  • #Chan

    Seems far fetched to me. When IMessage doesn’t work why wouldn’t it be sent as a standard SMS? How could somebody put a patent on automatically sending a data message to a standard SMS?

    • Wilber Alexander Flores

      I’ve noticed it doesn’t sent as text anymore for me sometimes it just hangs as iMessage untill I hold the bubble and send it as text manually. Could be because of this they did some behind the scenes stuff. Just assuming 🙂

  • Javier Gore

    aagghhh, I’m so sick of this LAWSUIT INDUSTRY in the USA (not America for those of you who can’t see past your nose). Every one suing a company to get a piece of the pie. DISGUSTING.