FaceTime patent infringement claim take two

Less than a month after Apple paid $440M to settle one FaceTime patent infringement claim, it is now faced with another.

Apple fought a claim from VirnetX for almost a decade before finally deciding to settle the case last month in order to end the drawn-out battle …

Patently Apple reports that VoIP-Pal.com is claiming both FaceTime and iMessage infringe one of its own patents for routing messages over the Internet.

The company claims that Apple’s FaceTime and Messaging System infringes granted patent 10,218,606 titled ” Producing routing messages for voice over IP communications.”

To say that the lawsuit seems a stretch is something of an understatement. It literally begins with the history of telephony back to directly-connected telephone systems.

It then takes us painfully through the history of communications systems between then and now, before attempting to argue that it invented the idea of connecting people together over a mix of private and public networks.

A method for routing communications in a packet switched communication system between a first participant device associated with a first participant and a second participant device associated with a second participant, the first and second participant devices being associated with first and second network elements of the communication system, respectively, the method comprising: receiving, by at least one processor, a second participant identifier associated with the second participant device, in response to initiation of a communication from the first participant device to the second participant device, the first participant device being associated with a first participant identifier; causing the at least one processor to access at least one memory storing a first participant profile identifying at least one first participant attribute; processing the second participant identifier and the at least one first participant attribute, using the at least one processor, to produce a new second participant identifier based on at least one match between the second participant identifier and the at least one first participant attribute; processing the new second participant identifier, using the at least one processor, to determine whether the second network element is the same as the first network element; when the second network element is determined to be the same as the first network element, producing a routing message identifying a first network address associated with the first network element, using the at least one processor; and when the second network element is determined not to be the same as the first network element, producing a routing message identifying a second network address associated with the second network element, using the at least one processor; wherein the packet switched communication system attempts to establish the communication from the first participant device to the second participant device based on at least one network address identified in the routing message.

Since the patent application was only filed in 2018, while FaceTime was launched in 2010, and iMessage in 2011, it’s hard to see how VoIP-Pal.com can claim it invented technology Apple was using eight years earlier.

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