back to article Judah 'Visual Voicemail' Klausner sues Google, Verizon, Citrix...

Suing communication providers over alleged patent infringements has worked pretty well for Judah Klausner. The inventor, who owns the company Klausner Technologies, has already reached lucrative settlements and subsequent licensing deals with AOL, AT&T, eBay, Comcast, and others. This round Klausner is gunning for six more …


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  1. GF
    Thumb Down

    Judah the Parasite...

    Klausner Technologies is a parasite company. Its name alone is an oxymoron. They do no technological research and development. They simply siphon protection money from telecom companies, and ultimately from the consumers. The mob of the 21st century, so to speak.

  2. Dave

    More of the Bleedin' Obvious

    I remember playing with this sort of stuff in the early '90s. We had a basic system (using OS/2 as the operator console) that could do much of what modern systems can do as regards call managerment and voicemail. Sadly I don't have any of the documentation to prove prior art.

  3. Peter
    Thumb Up

    Klausner's other telco patents?

    A hand held device that sets up an audio connection to another hand held device using a numeric keyboard? $$

    What else did he invent? The internet? $$$

    oh no! ofcourse! Electronic messages with a unique sender id transmitted/received by a computer and/or hand held devices. $$$$

    Give this brilliant inventor a banana, a lollipop and a big round of applause

  4. yeah, right.


    Seems obvious to me, even remember hacking ideas like this around back in early 1990's. And I'm not even "skilled in the field".

    Seems like yet another patent troll cashing in on other peoples hard work and stifling real innovation. When is the USA going to learn that software is just another mathematical algorithm, and that allowing patents on software is not only stupid, but completely counter-productive to the claimed goal of encouraging innovation?

  5. Ondrej Doubek

    the flaw is in the system

    It can be pretty difficult to tell bona fide technology companies protecting their investment apart from greedy a**holes, w*nkers and v*ltures perverting the whole idea behind patents and and protection of intellectual property.

    While the flaw is in the legislative sytems themselves:

    There is no need to prove that You are actually doing something with Your "idea". Thus there is no need to prove that there is a investment, revenue or other tangible value to protect in the first place.

    Intellectual Property per se has become a "protected value", which is fine for arts if applied with reason, but for technology and science it is simply wrong. Period!

    In my opinion anyone who is not putting a patented technology into practical use two years after getting the patent approved, or at least is able to prove that he seriously attempts to, should loose the patent, and it becomes public domain. Same should apply to all patents some 'one digit number' of years after the first application hits the market.

    It is just fair to give the inventor a good head start to protect his investment in research and development, but todays practice leads only to three things:

    - competition is stifled and monopolies built

    - good but inconvenient ideas are silenced

    (let's buy this patent and lock it away! First we exploit our outdated technology to the last bit, later we maybe release this new technology- see e.g. fuel efficient cars)

    - extortion of bona fide technology companies by vultures with no interest in any productive venture

    Nothing more to say...

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Microsoft just got a patent on page up/page down

    Ahh, the Patent Office, what a joke that has become.

    You know when you press page down and it moves down by the height of the window so you can see the next page below*.

    And if the zoom is set to 'size to fit' then page down steps down by a whole page because the window shows a whole page.

    And if you are on a page layout editor with a page selected, tab steps to the next page regardless of the zoom, and shift-tab to the previous page?

    And if you press Ctrl-page down on old Wordperfect it steps down to the next page regardless of the size of the screen.

    Well Microsoft has patented page up page down that moves up or down by one page regardless of the zoom level.,415,666

    In other news, people are concerned that patents seem to be costing more than they return:

    * When I do this, I make it step down by one line less than the height of the window so the user can see a slightly overlapping strip to form a mental image of the underlying page. If the window is made up of rows, I also align the scroll so that a whole row shows at the bottom edge on page down, or at the top of page up. No doubt some IT specialist is busy writing that up in patent form, because the USA is now a net importer of IT and that programmer is no longer employed actually writing scrolling code for products to see now, instead they're reduced to writing patents for things that already happen and hoping the patent office it too stupid to know what's gone before.

  7. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    In other words

    This Klausner guy is a parasite on society. To have a patent and not use it for production should automatically make the patent invalid.

    Makes me suspicious that this guy does not have a working product for one of his 25 patents. I wonder if his patents are not just all a bunch of pie-in-the-sky word fillers, without any actual code to work with.

    Remember that a patent is supposed to accurately describe the entire process, so that ANYONE can reproduce the object of the patent ? I wonder if his patents are that precise and, if not, I wonder why the Patent Office insists on granting patent applications that do not follow its own rules.

  8. Nick Palmer

    It's been said before, but...

    ...doesn't this sort of thing show up exactly how fundamentally broken IP law is? I have no problem with an inventor who bodges together an idea being rewarded for it, and none with stopping big corporates nicking it, but there should at least be some sort of actual invention at issue, not just an imaginary "thing that might do X".

  9. Anonymous Coward

    addition to the list

    Traffic wardens, Estate agents, lawyers, spammers, chuggers and PATENT TROLLS.

    The list of people we can aim our hatred at without any politically correctness rubbish. Yay

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Wonder why Texas?

    Because such cases go to a jury in Texas, so anyone wanting to fight the troll-claim has to be prepared both to educate 12 heavily-vetted citizens about all the related technology to the point where they can see through the flim-flam and overcome the vast-multinationals-trying-to-rip-off-Good-Ol'-Boy narrative.

    I recently saw a case where the Troll was claiming standard mathematical methods developed in the 1720s and first applied in computing while it was still using thermionic valves. All the dozens of multinationals cited shuffled their papers for a bit and paid up rather than go to the risk of those facts not being believed.

  11. Gordon Pryra


    its very easy to aim at Chuggers. They give you all the warning you need to get a good right hook in before they get the chance to scamm you.

    They make eye contact, then jump into a position 1.5 feet in front you of.

    Perfect for that "fist to chin" love tap.

    And you can claim you were defending yourself, its only a reflex action to strike out at something jumoing into your personal area like that.

    Just don't put the boot in when they are down.....

  12. SImon Hobson Bronze badge

    Prior art ?

    Hmm, see a visual representation of messages, with IDs, and access them in any order ? Just like people used to do BE (Before Email) with those tear-out "message" slips and "message" post-its !

    You get a pile of these slips with caller name & number and time, you look through them, and decide which to read first - just what this guy claims to have invented by the sound of it.

  13. Colin Mountford
    Gates Halo

    Hold on a minute - American Patent System

    Sorry but although IP is imperfect this,

    "anyone who is not putting a patented technology into practical use two years after getting the patent approved, or at least is able to prove that he seriously attempts to, should loose the patent"

    , is a seriously flawed idea.

    If you have an novel invention (whether software, hardware or widgets) you should have the right to be able to exploit that idea however you see fit. You may not be capable of actually making that idea, but someone who is capable should pay you to use it.

    The fundemental problem is actually the American Patent System.

    There are key criteria for a patent

    - Is it new?

    - Is is technical (does it relate to the way something works)?

    - Is the intellectual step required obvious to anyone with technical knowledge of the area?

    - Does is meet the laws of physics and/or can it actually be made?

    In Europe the general system (although burdensome at the beginning) allows the patent office to judge whether these are met _before_ issuing the patent.

    In America they avoid the initial detailed check, they just do a cursory check (no comparison with existing patents to confirm it is original etc.). Then they let the lawyers battle it out if anyone disagrees.

    For an example see

    A patent allowed for a method to cover a hole in a plaster wall by creating a plug of the same material in the same size.

    I know I'm biased but the European system seems better and should result in less work for lawyers. A good thing all round I think.

    Of course when it comes to American companies trying to patent their software to create a monopoly, Europe aren't so happy about that. Poor old Bill.

  14. Anonymous Coward

    Prior art?

    Surely email is prior art for this? OK, so email was intended to be text based and this 'invention' is intended to be voice based, but that distinction vanished with base64, mime encoding and wav files.

    The entire patent system needs a revamp... grant patents as you like, but if someone tries to protect an idiotic patent, it should be revoked... that way we all win - the bastard trolls still pay their patent fees etc, but lose it as soon as they try to sue someone!

    Now, how do you go about patenting an idea for a patent system?

    Can you patent a method for patenting an idea for a patent system?

    Can you patent a metho.....

    I know, I'll patent a method of getting my coat.

  15. Mark

    re: the flaw is in the system

    Maybe we ought to go to a "proven damages" system for awards. Yes, if you're a little guy you may not have a chance to make your work, but you know what? You will be able to explain this at court. And you'd have to go to court anyway if some big company used your idea and damaged you.

  16. Shady


    'What else did he invent? The internet? $$$'

    Of course not - Al Gore beat him to it

  17. Mark

    @Colin Mountford

    These are solved by a different version of "IP": The Trade Secret.

    Enforced by NDA and NEVER EXPIRE.


  18. Walking Turtle
    Paris Hilton

    And what's more...

    I just invented the taco! (We've waited hunnmerts of years for thees...)

    Miz Hilton - 'cause she's an utterly thoroughgoing invention from the get-go, quite obviously completely based on Prior Art, entirely from the ground up.

  19. StopthePropaganda

    what about Apple?

    the iPhone lets you manage your voicemail with visual listings of who called and when...or is he saving that for later?

    Or has Cupertino already sent out the muscle to "make an offer he can't refuse"?

  20. Ondrej Doubek
    Paris Hilton

    @ Colin Mountford

    I can see Your point, but:

    If You have a purely theoretical idea and not the resources to do a reality check, there is nothing to claim for.

    I have, like probably most of us, several ideas which are not too far out of the way and would have a real practical application, but I have in some case not the resources, in other not the determination, to check if any of them actually can be done. So no patent... If someone comes up with the same idea and makes it work HE will get the credit- and that's fair, isn't it?

    As soon as an inventor has done a fair deal of research he has inevitably put at least some parts of the idea into practice; that in my book qualifies for a "serious attempt to put the idea into practical use". If You build a complete working model You even have a prototype!

    And if You can't get the whole thing of the ground in 10 years it is better if someone with the appropriate ressources takes it up and puts it into use than have it never built.

    For the sake of innovation and the greater good!

    No, I am not kidding!

    Paris, for she invented herself, and didn't even file for a patent.

    (well, actually she stole the idea from Pam Anderson ;-) )

  21. Peter


    Always thought Gore invented just global warming. The man must be a genius.

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