Straight Path Communications is alleging that Apple violated several existing patents when it designed FaceTime, a popular video conferencing app.
NetSpeak, a communications company, owned the patents originally. The company developed WebPhone in the 1990s, a software that allowed businesses to speak directly to employees and customers over the internet. It was quite a feat, considering early internet technology.
The product was hailed as “new” and “revolutionary,” and in 1998, Motorola bought a 32 percent stake in NetSpeak. Now, a company called Straight Path Communications is claiming that Apple’s FaceTime technology infringes on three of NetSpeak’s patents.
The plaintiff obtained the patents from NetSpeak at some point, making it the owner. Once Straight Path acquired the patents, it turned around and sued Apple for infringement.
Straight Path describes itself as an “intangible asset monetization company” specializing in intellectual property. The company claims to “foster honest recognition of innovation in the market.” Some say however, that it is merely a patent troll company.
Patent trolls acquire patented technology but never use it to manufacture products. Instead, they enforce patent rights against accused “infringers” to try to force them to pay licensing fees.
Patent trolls make their money by gambling that the target company would rather pay up than lose a court battle. However, the right legal strategy can expose a patent troll’s attempts at fraud and settle the ownership issue once and for all.
If your business is being attacked by a patent troll, you need professional legal help. Robert G. Klein has been helping California businesses defend their intellectual property for years, so he knows how to help you. Schedule a free consultation to discuss the details of your case today.
[Did You Know: Straight Path Communications has made almost $1 million in revenue, using licensing fees from companies like Google and Sony.]
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