Apple facing FaceTime patent suit

A Texas-based company is claiming that Apple's FaceTime and Messages apps violate one of its patents.

Apple is the latest company to feel the patent infringement pinch from a firm called Intercarrier Communications.

A lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, contends that Apple's FaceTime and Messages apps violate ICC's Patent No. 6,985,748.

The patent in question refers to an "inter-carrier messaging service providing phone number only experience" and describes a method to send messages between different carriers using just a phone number.

ICC has been keeping the patent courts busy lately, according to PatentlyApple. In just the past five days, the company has launched similar suits against MobiWeb, Inerop Technologies, BroadSoft, Iris Wireless, and several other businesses, in each case citing the same patent.

In its suit against Apple, Frisco, Texas-based ICC is looking for an unspecified amount of damages based on any past and ongoing violations of the patent.

CNET contacted Apple and the attorneys for ICC and will update the story if we receive any information.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.


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