Meta ordered to pay Voxer $175 million for violating patents

Meta ordered to pay Voxer $175 million for violating patents
A jury in a Texas federal court found the social media giant guilty of breaching two live-streaming patents with Facebook Live and Instagram Live. As a result, Meta has been forced to pay over $174 million in penalties to Voxer, the company that created the Walkie Talkie messaging app.

After his fighting unit was ambushed in Kunar Province in 2003, Tom Katis, a co-founder of Voxer, invented the disputed patents to address the communication problems he encountered on the battlefield. In 2006, Katis and his team started working on communications solutions that led to new technology that made it possible to transmit live voice and video communications. The Walkie Talkie app was then released in 2011, while Voxer was established in 2007.

According to court documents, soon after the app's release, Meta (then known as Facebook) contacted Voxer with the aim of collaborating, and by February 2012, Voxer had revealed its patent portfolio and proprietary technology to Meta. Despite not having its own live video or voice product at the time, Voxer claims that Meta labelled it as a rival after the two businesses were unable to come to an agreement to collaborate. Following that, Meta terminated Voxer's use of crucial Facebook platform features, a move that was at the time characterised as bullying. Instagram Live debuted in 2016, after Facebook Live in 2015.

Katis says he raised the issue of patent infringement during a “chance meeting” with a senior product manager of Facebook Live in 2016, but according to court documents, Meta declined to enter any agreement regarding its continued use of Voxer’s technology.

The jury’s unanimous decision in the case awards Voxer a total sum of $174,530,785, which is to be paid out via a running royalty. Meta says it will appeal the decision. “We believe the evidence at trial demonstrated that Meta did not infringe Voxer’s patents,” a company spokesperson said in response to an AFP inquiry. “We intend to seek further relief, including filing an appeal.”
Chima Ugo is a patriotic Nigerian, a journalist, blogger and singer who is so much interested in the internet, journalism, and blogging and have been for half a decade.