Just over a month after Apple started its lawsuit fight in a French court, the Cupertino-based company finds itself in the midst of another lawsuit, brought forth by VoIP-Pal (VPLM) to the tune of $2.8 billion.
According to the Bellevue-based company, which holds patents on numerous VoIP and related technologies, Apple’s iMessage and FaceTime services violate several of its patents.
“Apple employs VPLM’s innovative technology and products, features, and designs, and has widely distributed infringing products that have undermined VPLM’s marketing efforts,” the complaint reads. One such alleged infringement is the messaging system that Apple employs with iMessage, which VoIP-Pal claims violates its patent that deals with the classification of a user and the manner in which the call is routed.
VoIP-Pal originally initiated its lawsuit against Apple back in February in a U.S. District Court in Las Vegas, Nevada, but delayed the lawsuit until May, since it wants to reach an “amicable resolution” with Apple. “We are confident the current good will on both sides will result in a favorable outcome for all parties involved,” said VoIP-Pal CEO Emil Malak.
The company has been accused of being a “patent troll,” since it does not generate income and, as a direct result, has practically worthless stock. However, VoIP-Pal fought back such allegations, arguing that Digifonica, which was acquired by the former back in 2013, started design on its system in 2004.
This lawsuit comes at an awkward time for Apple, which recently saw its first year-over-year revenue decline in 13 years during the company’s second fiscal quarter. The blame for the decline seems to be on lower iPhone sales, though Apple did note it saw the greatest number of people switching from other companies’ devices to the iPhone during the quarter. Apple is slated to report on its third quarter earnings sometime in June.
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