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FaceTime now on patent troll list

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A Texas-based company, Intercarrier Communications, is lining up its lawyers against a small throng of companies over a messaging patent.

Apple is on the list, with FaceTime and Apple Messages accused of infringing its patent, but the company has been far busier than that. Similar suits have been filed against Iris Wireless, Kik Interactive, as well as Viber, WhatsApp, Glimpse, TextNow, PingChat! and BroadSoft.

The Apple suit complains that the two products infringe on US Patent 6,985,748, “Inter-carrier messaging service providing phone number only experience”, which was originally assigned to TeleCommunication Systems.

The basis of the patent is sending text messages between different carriers (yes, The Register is well aware that this has been happening for ages): “Short messages may be sent to a subscriber in another carrier’s network addressed only with a phone number”, the abstract states. “If the recipient is outside the sender’s carrier network, the Inter-Carrier messaging module of the Inter-Carrier service provider (ICSP) determines the appropriate carrier for the recipient … and routes the short message to the destination carrier.”

The Justia blog reports that Intercarrier Communications was incorporated in April this year. ®

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