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Apple, AT&T Settle 'Visual Voicemail' Patent Lawsuit

Apple Inc. and AT&T Inc. have settled claims that the iPhone's "visual voicemail" technology infringed patents held by Klausner Technologies Inc., a New York-based patent holding company founded by inventor Judah Klausner.

AT&T is the exclusive wireless carrier for Apple's iPhone in the United States. The visual voicemail feature lets iPhone users see a list of people who've left them phone messages and listen to the messages in any order they choose.

The three companies said in a joint filing this week in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas that they've resolved Apple's and AT&T's portion of a larger patent lawsuit Klausner filed. They asked the court to dismiss the case.

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Judah Klausner said Tuesday that Apple and AT&T have agreed to take out licenses on the technology, joining eBay Inc.'s Skype division, which last month also settled a lawsuit filed by Klausner over a visual-voicemail feature in Skype's Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) service.

"As an inventor, it's fulfilling, and it's important as a creative person to get that recognition — payment is also good, there's nothing wrong with that," he said in an interview.

Financial terms were not disclosed.

Representatives for Apple and AT&T did not immediately return e-mails seeking comment.

Klausner's lawsuit over visual voicemail includes several defendants, most of whom have now settled.

The company still has litigation pending against Comcast Corp. over its VoIP product, Klausner said.