Voip-Pal Claims Patent Victory Against Apple
Voip-Pal.com, which has been referred to as a patent troll by at least one media outlet that follows it, recently got some good news related to its legal challenges against Apple and AT&T. Late last month, the company month indicated efforts by the two tech industry giants to invalidate its some of its patent claims were rejected by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s Patent Trial and Appeal Board.
The company on Nov. 21 released a press release trumpeting its victory. A week later it came out with another release offering further detail on the matter. (Apple did not return our request for comment on this matter.)
“Simply stated, after eight unsuccessful attempts by Unified Patents, Apple and AT&T to cancel the claims of two of Voip-Pal’s patents, the technology in the RBR and RBR Messaging patents has been validated and proven to be patentable by a unanimous panel of three judges of the PTAB,” wrote Voip-Pal which went on to call this development an unprecedented achievement.
Patently Apple in a May 2017 report said Voip-Pal in 2013 acquired a 2013 patent from Digifonica and used it to seek damages from Apple. The piece says that it was originally seeking $2.8 billion in damages from Apple, but that was increased to more than $25 billion. A February 2016 Patently Apple article talks about Voip-Pal’s legal challenges against Apple related to the smartphone giant’s alleged use of VPLM’s caller attribute classification and routing product design relative to iMessage and to WiFi Calling on Apple computers and mobile devices.
In a company press release, Voip-Pal CEO Emil Malak stated, "We believe that our patents are utilized in each iPhone voice call and iMessage routed through legacy telephony or the internet. Our preference is to settle all litigation amicably through a negotiated outcome. However, we recognize the potential for further legal action, so we are finalizing our updated infringement and damage projections in the event a court battle is unavoidable."
Voip-Pal in a press release it issued last month said that on Jan. 26, 2018, it “will appear in Federal District Court in Nevada, where its legal counsel will ask the court to lift the stay of legal proceedings agreed to by the parties pending the outcome of the IPRs.” In the meantime, the company said it is updating its damages model based on damages awarded in recent patent infringement cases in Federal District Courts and the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals. It added that “the most current cases have awarded damages to the patent owner based upon an apportioned percentage of the patent infringer's net operating profits derived from the infringement of the patent including revenue from the sale of devices and services.”
Voip-Pal has 17 U.S. patents and says it has succeeded in defending 125 claim challenges (some repeated) against two of its patents.
Edited by Mandi Nowitz