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Judah 'Visual Voicemail' Klausner sues Google, Verizon, Citrix...

Rent due again?

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 firms to pay up for infringing its patent for providing a visual representation of voice messages. The companies listed in the latest volley include Google, Verizon, LG Electronics, and Citrix.

Klausner Technologies filed the complaint Tuesday in US District Court in Tyler, Texas.

Verizon's spider sense was clearly already tingling when it launched its own visual voice mail service, and preemptively filed a request to kill Klausner's patent claims in US District Court in New York.

"We anticipated Klausner's actions," a Verizon spokesman said in an e-mailed statement. "We are seeking a declaration that Klausner's visual voicemail patent is invalid and that Verizon's system does not infringe the patent in any event."

Klausner's visual voice mail patent is described as letting the user "access messages in a selective manner based on the identity of the caller. The need to listen to the actual voice messages to determine the caller's identity and the need to listen to the messages sequentially or chronologically is obviated, saving both time and effort."

He recently sought $360m for damages from Apple, claiming the iPhone's touted visual voice mail feature was in violation of his intellectual property.

Klausner Technologies has about 25 mobile telephony patents. While the firm doesn't appear to make any products based on these patents, it specializes in sniffing out companies it claims are infringing, suing, settling and then demanding licensing deals. ®

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