Another day, yet another lawsuit from “patent troll” VoIP-Pal. As noted by AppleInsider, the non-practicing entity is suing Apple for at least the third time, claiming FaceTime and iMessage/Messages infringe on a single patent covering call routing and handling.
Filed with the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Texas, VoIP-Pal’s suit hinges on a patent detailing methods of seamlessly integrating IP-based calls with external networks like a public switched telephone network (PTSN).
This is the latest in a string of lawsuits VoIP-Pal has filed against Apple. Among them:
° In May 2018, it sued Apple accusing the iPhone maker of infringing a collection of four voice over IP patents with the iMessage, FaceTime, and Wi-Fi Calling functions.
° In February 2016, VoIP-Pal filed a lawsuit against Apple, as well as Verizon Wireless Services and AT&T. The complaints alleged infringement by Apple, Verizon and AT&T of various claims of Voip-Pal’s patents.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office waded into a dispute between Apple and Voip-Pal.com earlier this year, defending two Patent Trial and Appeal Board decisions that Apple claims should be thrown out because they were the product of a “campaign of intimidation” by Voip-Pal, reports Law360.
VoIP-Pal is a publicly traded corporation that acquired Digifonica International Limited in 2013 in order to fund, co-develop and complete Digifonica’s suite of patents. Digifonica purportedly operationalized and tested its suite of software solutions with applications in five core areas of Internet connectivity: Routing, Billing and Rating; Lawful Intercept; Short Number Dialing (Enhanced 911) Mobile Gateway; and Uninterrupted Transmission.
By the way, a patent troll is an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits. In legal terms, a patent troll is a type of non-practicing entity: someone who holds a patent but is not involved in the design or manufacture of any product or process associated with that patent.