Another patent-holding company has set its sights on Apple, numerous other large companies, and even smaller developers like The Iconfactory, alleging violations of a patent that covers one- and two-way messaging. On Friday, Kootol Software announced that it sent notices of the alleged patent infringement to a variety of companies you may have heard of; in addition to Apple, Kootol sent letters to Yahoo, Google, Microsoft, Amazon, AOL, Facebook, Twitter, Nokia, Foursquare, IBM, LinkedIn, MySpace, RIM, Quora, Salesforce, Twitpic, Ubermedia, and iOS and Mac software developer The Iconfactory. Those last three companies all make software that integrates directly with Twitter.
Kootol, founded in 2010, says it has a patent license agreement with Yogesh Rathod for control of U.S. Patent Application 11/995,343. Rathod, in fact, is a co-founder of Kootol with his brother Vijay Rathod. According to Kootol, the patent application “covers core messaging, publication and real time searching technology.” Interestingly, the patent in question hasn’t actually been awarded to Kootol or Rathod yet. Rather, The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has issued “A Notice of Allowance.” That’s the term for when the USPTO says that an applicant is entitled to a patent under the law, but must pay an issue fee (and potentially publication fee) first, within three months.
Kootol says that the patent’s “invention allows the user to publish and send messages using one way or two way messaging and by subscribing to posts of other users of a network. By indexing each message of each user the system provides real time search capabilities to users of the network in turn creating a unique form of communication.” The company notes that the “patent is available for licensing.”
Reached by Macworld, The Iconfactory declined to comment. Kootol and Apple did not immediately reply to our requests for comment. litigation. A figure from Kootol's patent application in question is reproduced below: