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Apple swipes Visual Voicemail from Citrix

Class action with Cisco?

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Exclusive Apple appears unable to "think different" on the cell phone front. First the computer maker nicked the iPhone name for the actual device from Cisco, and now we find it's grabbed an application name from poor old Citrix.

Earlier this week, Apple bragged about teaming with Cingular on its Visual Voicemail software that runs on the iPhone. The voicemail application displays caller information and allows users to pick the order in which messages are played back instead of forcing you to hear messages in a sequential order.

Such features won't impress Citrix, which has been selling Visual Voicemail software since it acquired Net6 in 2004. [Thanks, Jason.]

"Visual Voicemail enables Call Pilot voicemail users to have a visual indication of the number of voice mail messages in the mailbox, the senders of these voice mail messages, the time of the voice mail message, and the length of the voice mails," Citrix notes on its website. "Visual Voicemail enables users to take a quick glance at their list of voice mail messages to check for important ones - without having to listen to all their messages."

Citrix happens to have a deal in place that allows customers to use Visual Voicemail on Cisco's IP phones. Cisco recently put such gear under its iPhone brand, making use of an old trademark.

Citrix has yet to respond to our calls seeking comment about its feelings on the Visual Voicemail matter. We were unable to locate a trademark for the brand.

Cisco was less ambiguous, announcing a trademark infringement lawsuit yesterday against Apple.

Earlier this week, Apple CEO Steve Jobs bragged about the more than 200 patents backing up the iPhone.

"Just as the Macintosh was a breakthrough in 1984 for its mouse, and the iPod in 2001 for its click wheel, the iPhone's stroke of genius is this new 'multi-touch' technology," he said, according to The Economist. “And boy have we patented it."

Tough talk for an IP bully.®

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