Another day, another lawsuit. Straight Path Group, a subsidiary of fixed wireless spectrum leasing firm Straight Path Communications, is suing Apple for patent violation, this one regarding VoIP, reports AppleInsider.
Straight Path is a non-practicing entity — in other words, a “patent troll.” A patent troll is an individual or an organization that purchases and holds patents for unscrupulous purposes such as stifling competition or launching patent infringement suits. In legal terms, a patent troll is a type of non-practicing entity: someone who holds a patent but is not involved in the design or manufacture of any product or process associated with that patent.
VoIP, or Voice over Internet Protocol, is a method for taking analog audio signals, like the kind you hear when you talk on the phone, and turning them into digital data that can be transmitted over the Internet. It can turn a standard Internet connection into a way to place free phone calls.
Straight Path claims Apple’s FaceTime infringes on five patents previously owned by the NetSpeak Corp. regarding a product called WebPhone. The complaint is a renewal of Straight Path’s 2014 case, which was dismissed without prejudice in 2015.