Klausner iPhone Voicemail Suit Neglects SF Prior Art

Apple is being sued by Klausner Technologies Inc. to the tune of $350 million. At the center of the argument is a patent for "visual voicemail" that presents a list of voicemails and then lets the user selectively retrieve them from within an inbox display.

(Apple iPhone voicemail feature)

I'm not an intellectual property lawyer, but this is one of those patents that doesn't seem to have received a proper review.

In his remarkable 1965 novel The Age of the Pussyfoot, Frederik Pohl clearly describes a networked voicemail system that presented a list of received calls to the user and then allowed the user to selectively retrieve calls and listen to them in any order.

"Your messages follow. Notice of personal visit: Taiko Hironibi will join you for breakfast... Adne Bensen sends you a kiss. First Merchants Audit and Trust invites your patronage. Society of Ancients states you have been approved for membership and relocation benefits..."
(Read more about cell phone voice mail with selective message retrieval)

The service was presented to the user via his joymaker, an incredibly prescient description of a combination cellphone/PDA/Google device. The preferred interface of the joymaker is verbal; you tell it what you want and it knows what you mean. The joymaker could also take over nearby screens and present information that way.

Klausner is suing Apple and AT&T over its patent 5,572,576; this patent was also at the heart of a suit against Vonage Holdings Corp., which was settled out of court in 2006.

I don't see why sf Grandmasters like Frederik Pohl don't get what they deserve when they have clearly visualized and described systems like this decades in advance.

From Klausner sues Apple iPhone over voicemail via /..

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