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Lyft agrees to double California drivers' lawsuit settlement

Lyft has more than doubled its original offer to settle the class action lawsuit its drivers filed in California in an effort to be recognized as employees. The ride-sharing service has agreed to pay them $27 million after a San Francisco Dist…

ESPN and Verizon settle lawsuit over customizable FiOS TV plans

It’s been more than a year since ESPN sued Verizon over Custom FiOS TV, a channel bundle that allows subscribers to make à la carte selections. But today, the companies announced they have settled their lawsuit, which was filed in New York’s S…

Apple Hit With $2.8 Billion Patent Lawsuit Over VoIP Technology

iMessage-duoVoIP-Pal announced today that it has filed a lawsuit against Apple in a U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, seeking over $2.8 billion in damages for alleged infringement of its patented internet communication technologies.

The Bellevue-based company calculated its $2,836,710,031 figure using a 1.25-percent royalty rate based on an apportionment of Apple’s estimated historical profit from iPhone (55-percent), iPad (35-percent), and Mac (10-percent).

VoIP-Pal (VPLM) has over a dozen issued or pending patents, primarily related to VoIP technologies, a few of which it accuses Apple of infringing upon with services like FaceTime and iMessage on iPhone, iPad, and Mac.

Apple employs VPLM’s innovative technology and products, features, and designs, and has widely distributed infringing products that have undermined VPLM’s marketing efforts. Instead of pursuing independent product development, Apple employed VPLM’s innovative caller attribute classification and routing product design, in violation of VPLM’s valuable intellectual property rights.

The court filing cites multiple ways that Apple is allegedly infringing upon the patents, including the following iMessage claim:

In particular, devices running the iMessage application initiate a communication between a caller and a callee. The callee may be an Apple subscriber or a non-subscriber. In the case that the callee is an Apple subscriber, the communication is sent using iMessage. On the other hand, if the user is not an Apple subscriber or if iMessage is not available, the communication is sent using SMS/MMS. Apple’s messaging system directly and/or indirectly practices certain claims of the ‘815 patent in order to determine the classification of a user, and, subsequently, how the call should be routed.

The lawsuit was originally initiated on February 9, but VoIP-Pal delayed pursuing legal action until Monday as the company says it remains engaged in discussions with Apple outside the courtroom regarding an amicable resolution. The company appears to be open to a sale or licensing of its patent portfolio.

“We are confident the current good will on both sides will result in a favorable outcome for all parties involved,” said Emil Malak, CEO of VoIP-Pal.

VoIP-Pal, which acquired network operator Digifonica in 2013, describes itself as “a technical leader in the broadband VoIP market.” The company does not currently generate income, but insists it is “absolutely not” a patent troll, noting that Digifonica began designing its system back in 2004.

We designed, built and tested super-nodes and nodes in Canada, England, and Norway, spending more than $17 million on development and execution in the process. At one time, we had more than twenty (20) engineers working on the software design and implementation. […]

Due to the Great Recession in the mid 2000’s, Digifonica was unable to continue supporting the platform, while it was continuing its significant investment in protecting the intellectual property it had developed. […]

The infringing companies are making billions of dollars using technology that were conceived, designed, built, tested and patented by Digifonica.

VoIP-Pal has filed similar lawsuits against AT&T and Verizon in Las Vegas court.

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Uber faces lawsuit over aggressive Austin voting ads

Uber is known for being aggressive when it wants changes to the law — just ask anyone who has received email after email asking for support. However, its latest effort might have crossed the line. The app-hailed transportation service is fa…

Facebook can't stop lawsuit over its facial recognition software

Facebook will have to battle it out in court over a lawsuit that claims the social network’s facial recognition software violates an Illinois privacy act. This week, a San Fransisco federal judge denied Facebook’s motion to dismiss the case. The suit…

Apple sued (again) for violating force touch patents

You probably haven’t heard of Immersion, but it’s a company that does two things well: haptic technology and hiring lawyers. The company is already suing Apple, claiming that the iPhone 6/6S and Apple Watch’s force touch violate several of its patent…

Immersion Files Second Haptic Feedback Lawsuit Against Apple

Immersion, a company that develops and licenses haptic touch feedback technology, today filed a second lawsuit against Apple and AT&T, accusing the MacBook and MacBook Pro of violating one patent and the iPhone 6s of violating three additional patents not mentioned in the original lawsuit.

According to Immersion, iPhone 6s and MacBook features like 3D Touch and the Force Touch trackpad infringe on its intellectual property. The four patents included in today’s lawsuit are as follows:

– U.S. Patent No. 8,749,507: “Systems and Methods for Adaptive Interpretation of Input from a Touch-Sensitive Input Device”

– U.S. Patent No. 7,808,488: “Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations”

– U.S. Patent No. 8,581,710: “Systems and Methods for Haptic Confirmation of Commands”

– U.S. Patent No. 7,336,260: “Method and Apparatus for Providing Tactile Sensations”

The fourth patent is the one that Immersion accuses the MacBook, the 13-inch MacBook Pro, and the 15-inch MacBook Pro of violating, and AT&T, while named in the iPhone 6s claim, is not named in the MacBook infringement claim. According to Immersion, the Force Touch trackpad built into these products uses haptic feedback technology belonging to Immersion.

Apple’s Force Touch trackpad utilizes haptic feedback to mimic the feeling of pressing on a physical button. The trackpad is able to distinguish between a light press and a harder press, with the pressure-sensitivity used to enable different gestures.

In the original lawsuit filed in February of 2016, Immersion accused Apple and AT&T of infringing on three patents with the iPhone 6, 6s, 6 Plus, 6s Plus, Apple Watch, Apple Watch Sport, and Apple Watch Edition. Immersion has added AT&T to the lawsuit because AT&T sells Apple products and offers guides, directions, and other materials that “encourage and facilitate infringing use by others.”

Immersion’s patent lawsuit, in which the company requests a jury trial and seeks compensatory damages, is accompanied by a second complaint with the U.S. International Trade Commission, seeking an inclusion order to prevent the sale of the accused Apple devices in the United States.

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Android app pirates plead guilty to copyright infringement

One of the biggest Android app pirates has pled guilty to one count of criminal copyright infringement and one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement. Mississippi’s Aaron Blake Buckley has admitted his role in distributing over four mil…

Uber settlement protects travel with your guide dog

Uber has made some effort to accommodate passengers with special needs, but it certainly hasn’t been perfect: in 2014, the National Federation of the Blind’s California branch sued Uber for denying rides to poor-sighted passengers with guide dogs and…

Judge rules for Fitbit in patent dispute with Jawbone

Fitbit just won a legal ruling invalidating the patents Jawbone was using to block it from importing its foreign-made fitness bands to the US. The ruling reduces the chance for Fitbit to face an import ban from the US International Trade Commi…

Amazon is liable for in-app purchases made by kids, court finds

A federal judge today ruled that Amazon did not sufficiently warn people of the possibility of in-app purchases in “free” apps, making the company liable for unwanted charges incurred by children. The FTC filed the case in 2014 and argued that Amazon…

'1666 Amsterdam' is back in 'Assassin's Creed' creator's hands

Ubisoft and Patrice Désilets, the creative director of Assassin’s Creed and Assassin’s Creed 2, have reached an agreement that gives Désilets ownership of a mysterious original IP, 1666 Amsterdam. Désilets and Ubisoft have a rock…

Feds scrap Apple lawsuit in New York

The Department of Justice will no longer go after Apple in court in an effort to compel the company to unlock an iPhone related to a Brooklyn drug case. According to the court document US Attorney Robert Capers submitted (and obtained by Apple…

Uber will pay $100 million to settle lawsuits in two states

Uber announced tonight that it has settled a pair of class-action lawsuits from drivers in California and Massachusetts. The settlement will pay $84 million to the plaintiffs, plus an extra $16 million if the company goes public and its valuat…

Apple agrees to pay $24.9 million to settle Siri patent lawsuit

Apple has agreed to settle yet another lawsuit from the ever-growing list of litigations it’s battling to the tune of $24.9 million. This particular case, filed back in 2012 by a company called Dynamic Advances, alleges that Siri infringes on a paten…

Lawsuit asks Justice Department to reveal decryption orders

Do you want to know whether or not US officials have ever forced a company to decrypt data to aid in an investigation? So does the Electronic Frontier Foundation. The civil liberties group has sued the Department of Justice to make it reveal…

Microsoft sues US government to remove gag on data requests

Apple may have the eye of the US government when it comes to encryption, but Microsoft is taking aim at the Justice Department as well. Redmond is suing the government over the right to tell its customers when the authorities ask it to hand ov…

EU court says linking to copyrighted material isn't illegal

The EU Court of Justice announced in 2014 that it doesn’t see linking to a publicly available website as a form of copyright infringement. Now, its Advocate General, Melchior Wathelet, says linking to a website doesn’t break the law even if it hosts…

Uber settles background check lawsuit in California

Uber promises never to describe its service as the “safest ride on the road” or call its background check process “the gold standard” again. That’s one of the terms it agreed to when it hashed out a settlement agreement with the San Francisco and Los…

Court awards $20 million in YouTube channel dispute

YouTube channels can be tremendous things when everything goes according to plan, but things can get really, truly ugly when their creators disagree with each other. Brandon Keating and David Moss have won both a $20 million award and controll…

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