Apple settles Visual Voicemail lawsuit

Apple settled a lawsuit launched by Klausner Technology for its use of Visual Voicemail on the iPhone. Company founder Judah Klausner told Reuters that Apple, AT&T and eBay have agreed to license its patents.

Klausner’s patent for Visual Voicemail describes a “Telephone Answering Device Linking Displayed Data with Recorded Audio Message.” The patent was first issued to Klausner in 1994 and reinstated on March 18, 2008.

Klausner had been asking for $360 million in damages in his lawsuit, but details of the settlement were not available.

Visual Voicemail, a feature of the iPhone, enables users to selectively identify and listen to messages in their voicemail by using the iPhone’s interface. The phone identifies callers and when they left their message — users can then listen to each message individually, rather than having to use key commands to fast-forward, rewind, stop and start messages as they do with many other phones.

Apple, AT&T and eBay join Vonage and Sprint Nextel as licensees of the technology.

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