Apple’s lawyers don’t have to worry about keeping busy this new year, as the usual East Texas patent infringement claims continue to be filed. The latest comes from a firm who claims Apple’s Messages app infringes on a 2002 patent for a point-of-sale system.
…The troll named Seatoun Media is using a patent originally assigned to Voice Express Corporation by the U.S. Patent Office in 2002. The lawsuit never mentions the original assignee. They claim that Apple iDevices using messaging software infringes their acquired patent. The application titled “Point to point voice message processor, method and recording/playback device” relates to and describes an ancient point of sale system.
A Description of the Patent in Question
The patent describes a system for ordering voice messaging products.
“It is a purpose of the present invention to provide for a simple and flexible method and system that will permit voice message recording/playback devices to be ordered and recorded during one phone call without the need for expensive switching and voice processing hardware and similarly to provide a flexible system which permits voice message recording/playback devices to be recorded at a point of sale whether that point of sale is accessed by way of a phone call or a personal visit.
It is also a purpose of the present invention to provide a system and method that permits an agent at the point of sale to select independently the point of delivery, instruct personnel at the point of delivery directly and control the time to transfer the voice message from the point of sale to the point of delivery.
It is also a purpose of the present invention to permit the customer to select personally and the sales agent to request personally from the delivery site the maximum recording length of the voice message recording/playback device, the model, package design of the voice message recording/playback device, as well as to select any accessory which the customer wishes to have delivered with it.”
Readers get three guesses as to where the patent lawsuit was filed, and the first two don’t count. That’s right folks, the suit, filed last week, was filed in the patent troll-friendly Texas Eastern District Court. The court has long been a favorite of patent trolls everywhere, due to a history of juries who tend to rule in favor of the plaintiff in patent lawsuits, no matter how ridiculous they might be.
We’ll keep readers informed on this case as it moves forward. It could get thrown out of court, but don’t hold your breath.