Apple has been the subject of some pretty absurd patent troll claims over the years, and a new one seems determined to push the boundaries still further. Seatoun Media is claiming that Apple’s Messages app infringes a 2002 patent regarding a point-of-sale system, reports Patently Apple.
The patent appears to describe a system for ordering voice messaging products, rather than the operation of same.
It is a purpose of the present invention to provide for a simple and flexible method and system that will permit voice message recording/playback devices to be ordered and recorded during one phone call without the need for expensive switching and voice processing hardware and similarly to provide a flexible system which permits voice message recording/playback devices to be recorded at a point of sale whether that point of sale is accessed by way of a phone call or a personal visit.
It will come as no surprise that the case has been filed in the Texas Eastern district court, the jurisdiction of choice for patent trolls. Back in October, a case heard there resulted in Apple being ordered to pay over $300M for supposedly infringing patents in FaceTkme and iMessage.
Apple spoke out back in 2014 after revealing that it was the number one target of lawsuits by patent assertion entities, companies which do nothing other than buy old patents in order to try to extract money from companies for alleged infringements. Many of these claims are phrased in the broadest possible terms in an attempt to make almost anything look like an infringement.
Apple is currently embroiled in a lawsuit and counter-suit with Nokia over five patents which appear to have been excluded from an agreement between the two companies back in 2011.