Originally Posted by AjayBot
I think the reason why many of the users are upset about this lawsuit isn't that a patent holder is suing a big company for lots of money, its the thought of how long they are taking, as well as a few other things...
It actually hasn't taken Klausner long to file suit.
First of, you have a 15 year old patent without any marketable progress on a patent, minus defending other companies from using it without paying the big bucks. This is stupid. Thats like me patenting travelling to mars now, then sitting here waiting until NASA gets to Mars, then sueing them because I have a patent for it.
If you've a non-obvious, viable method for Mars travel, then I'd suggest you file a patent application sometime. We'd all like to know about it and you should be allowed to profit from your creativity. If you're lucky, someone with the means of implementing your ideas will approach you offering gobs of money to license the technology and do all of the hard work for you. If you're unlucky, your patent will just sit there for everyone to read and admire... forever. Perhaps 17+ years hence, someone will be inspired to act on your ideas, at which time your patent protection will have expired and you'll not be in a position to receive a penny.
Secondly, the device in question is AT&T and Apple's iPhone Visual Voicemail, which the feature is not new (I recall a widget that allowed you to do the same thing from your computer months before the release), but having on a phone was quiet the handy feature (I know I love it : D).
Do you believe Visual Voicemail was developed in just a few months? Or might Apple have internal documents on such a feature dating back years, perhaps even decades?
Now this iPhone was released in June. Thats almost 6 months that these guys have actually sat on this lawsuit. I'm not a laywer, so I don't know ...
6 months is nothing. Furthermore, a patent isn't infringed until something is sold. Example: Meizu can wave around all manner of iPhone clones in the U.S., but until they actually start giving them away (or selling them), Meizu is safe from Apple's legal hounds.
Third, its quite a hefty sum of money they are asking for in 'damages'. I wish I got $360 million for an idea I thought of and never actually did anything about.
Wishing you had invented something great doesn't cut it. Klausner will have attorney fees and incurs the risk of losing. If a settlement isn't reached, a court will ultimately decide if infringement has occurred and its valuation. Presumably Klausner already approached Apple about licensing his patented technology and Apple responded unsatisfactorily. Better to ask too much than too little in this case. Through "discovery" (delving into the defendant's records), Klausner might find his invention is worth far more than he expected. By way of example, Joe Shmoe operating out of his garage might be selling a device that clearly infringes, but unless/until Shmoe's business goes gangbusters, the monetary gain to the patent holder may not be worth the trouble of suing. Even after Shmoe's business is high-flying, the patent holder may wish to hold off on suing until the real or ultimate value of the infringement is evident. It could take years, and patent law allows this. In that respect, Klausner's suit actually seems to have appeared quickly. Furthermore, he filed it when the prospects of continued iPhone success seem bright, rather than waiting and risking that a rash of clones comes along and undermines iPhone sales.
As for the patent system, I don't believe you should have to prove you are working on something to patent it, but I do believe that you should show proof that you are progressing on it, or at least attempting to, in order to defend it and get payouts.
A patent application becomes a public document, even before a decision has been made by the PTO if it takes more than 18 months. Attorneys versed in intellectual property law know how to search the records before filing new patent applications. Apple's attorneys are no different. It's not like Apple would have brought the iPhone to market blind.
Hey isn't "Visual Voicemail" Copyrighted by Apple/AT&T? If the plaintiff uses the word 'Visual Voicemail' like that, can't they sue back? Haha
I expect Visual Voicemail is trademarked, not copyrighted. Copyrighting doesn't protect names or titles.