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Patent infringement: Meta to pay $ 175 million in the US

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According to a US court, Facebook and Instagram have infringed patents on their live streaming offerings. Now they are supposed to pay, but they are appealing.

 

Facebook and Instagram are said to have infringed patents with their live streaming offerings. The technology comes in part from Voxer, a Dallas-based company that provides walkie-talkie apps and features. A Texas court had to decide on the patent infringement. Accordingly, Meta, the parent company, is to pay around 175 million US dollars – directly to Voxer. However, Meta has already announced an appeal.

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The affected technology is said to be in Facebook Live and Instagram Live. Voxer released its two-way radio app in 2011. Facebook is said to have asked for a cooperation, but no agreement was reached. During the talks, Facebook got an insight into the technology – and finally took it over. When Facebook identified Voxer as a competitor, the walkie-talkie app was also denied access to the service’s critical “find friends” interface. According to TechCrunch, there were even renewed attempts to reach an agreement after Facebook Live started. But because these also failed, Voxer went to court in 2020.

The court confirmed: “Facebook blocked Voxer’s access to components essential to the service on Facebook’s platform and published Facebook Live in 2015 and Instagram Live in 2016”. Both products incorporated Voxer’s technology and infringed patents. Meta disagrees. A spokesman told TechCrunch the court misinterpreted the evidence, showing “Meta does not infringe Voxer’s patents.”

Meta, or formerly Facebook, is known for happily taking over competitors and allowing their products and functions to flow into their own. Instagram and WhatsApp are also purchases that should have been worthwhile for the group – for example, although Facebook previously operated its own messenger with the same name. Because such takeovers strengthen Meta’s market position, the purchase of the GIF platform Giphy recently met with resistance from the British competition authority. She wants to force it to sell, Giphy argues that nobody else is interested because its own service is “cringe”.

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