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Verizon Seeks to Strike Down Visual Voicemail Lawsuit

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NEW YORK (Dow Jones) Verizon Communications and its Verizon Wireless unit asked a court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by inventor Judah Klausner over visual voicemail technology.

Visual voice mail is a new feature made popular by the Apple iPhone. The feature allows people to see their various voicemails as items on a list that users can access separately.

Verizon Wireless, jointly owned by Verizon and Vodafone Group, recently unveiled the service, and as a result, came into the crosshairs of Klausner and his company, privately held Klausner Technologies Inc.

The company filed the lawsuit on Tuesday, naming Verizon Wireless, among other companies such as Google and LG Electronics as defendants.

Verizon Wireless, however, filed a request to strike down the suit in the U.S. District Court in the Eastern District of New York on Aug. 13.

"We anticipated Klausner's action," said Verizon spokesman James Smith. "We are seeking a declaration that Klausner's visual voicemail patent is invalid and that Verizon's system does not infringe the patent in any event."

The wireless company maintains it developed the technology itself.

A spokeswoman for Klausner declined to comment.

Klausner has been successful in the past at striking deals with companies it had sued. In June, Klausner Technologies settled with Apple, AT&T, and eBay for an undisclosed amount.

In April, Sprint Nextel Corp. (S) licensed its technology for its Instinct touchscreen phone.

-By Roger Cheng, Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-2020; roger.cheng@dowjones.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

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