faces a hefty bill after losing a patent infringement lawsuit. A federal judge in Texas ordered the company to pay Voxer, the developer of the app called Walkie Talkie, nearly $175 million in ongoing royalties. Voxer accused Meta of violating its patents and incorporating that technology into and .
In 2006, Tom Katis, the founder of Voxer, began working on a way to solve communication problems he faced while serving in the US Army in Afghanistan, such as notes Katis and her team developed technology that enables live voice and video broadcasts, which led to Voxer.
According to the lawsuit, shortly after Voxer launched the app, Meta (then known as Facebook) approached the company about collaborating. Voxer is said to have disclosed its proprietary technology as well as its patent portfolio to Meta, but the two parties failed to reach an agreement. Voxer claims that although Meta did not have live voice or video services at the time, it identified the Walkie Talkie developer as a competitor and shut down access to Facebook features such as the “Find Friends” tool.
Meta debuted Facebook Live in 2015. Katis claims to have had the opportunity to meet with a Facebook Live product manager in early 2016 to discuss Voxer’s alleged patent infringements on that product, but Meta declined to come to an agreement. agreement with the company. The latter launched Instagram Live later that year. “Both products incorporate Voxer technologies and infringe Voxer’s patents,” Voxer said in the lawsuit.
Meta denied Voxer’s claims in a statement to TechCrunch. He plans to fight the bug. “We believe the evidence at trial showed that Meta did not infringe Voxer’s patents,” a spokesperson said. “We intend to seek further relief, including filing an appeal.”
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