Twitter Preemptively Sues VOIP-Pal After The Company Sues 4 Tech Giants

After VOIP-Pal filed near-simultaneous lawsuits against tech giants Facebook, Amazon, Apple, and Google, Twitter has turned the tables, filing a complaint for declaratory judgment against VOIP-Pal. They argued that the claims made in the new suits are similar to a previous case, which VOIP-Pal lost.    

Twitter has requested a declaratory judgment of noninfringement in relation to U.S. Patent No. 10,218,606 (the “’606 patent”). Twitter states that the ’606 patent is “a member of a family that includes six other patents that VOIP-Pal has asserted in prior lawsuits in this Court against Twitter, Apple, AT&T, Verizon Wireless and Amazon (‘first and second wave actions’). The ’606 patent shares a common specification with the six previously-asserted patents. All six of the previously-asserted patents were found to be invalid under 35 U.S.C. § 101 for claiming ineligible subject matter.”

Twitter recounted that “[d]uring the past week (April2-7, 2020), VOIP-Pal filed new lawsuits in the Western District of Texas asserting the ’606 patent against Facebook, WhatsApp, Google, Amazon, and Apple (the ‘Texas lawsuits’). The claims of the ’606 patent asserted in these new lawsuits are very similar to the claims of one or more of the patents that VOIP-Pal previously asserted in the first and second wave actions and were found to be invalid by this Court.”

Twitter believes that the patent would likely be considered invalid since the other similar patents were considered invalid.  VOIP-Pal stated that it was considering taking more actions after the Court of Appeals ruling that was in favor of Twitter, Apple, AT&T, and Verizon Wireless.  

Twitter claims that it does not infringe the ’606 patent, noting that the Texas lawsuits “are directed to accused instrumentalities that are similar to Twitter’s products and services (for example, communications involving text, images, and videos).” However, Twitter believes that it does not infringe on the patent, because in the prior lawsuit, “an actual case and controversy exist[ed]”; because the ’606 patent is related to those patents with common specification, that the court later determined to be invalid, Twitter believes that it does not infringe.

Twitter has sought a declaratory judgment of noninfringement of the ’606 patent. The suit was filed in the California Northern District Court. Twitter is represented by Perkins Coie.