Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, has been ordered to pay $174.5 million in damages to Voxer, an app that accuses the social media giant of infringing its patents.
A Texas jury has determined that Meta copied walkie-talkie messaging patents in its live streaming, Facebook Live and Instagram Live features. Meta intends to appeal. “We believe that the evidence presented at the trial shows that Meta did not infringe Voxer’s patents,” reacted the group.
Voxer had launched lawsuits in 2020, ensuring that the Californian group had used its patented technology after the failure of an attempt to collaborate between the two companies in 2012. The application allows “the transmission of audio and video communications with the immediacy of live and the reliability and ease of messaging”, according to the complaint, including under poor network conditions and even if the recipient is not available.
Voxer explains that he was contacted by Facebook shortly after the launch of his service in 2011, which was a “immediate success”. The start-up would then have provided the details of its technologies to the social network, but “the meetings did not lead to an agreement”, detail his lawyers. “Facebook then identified Voxer as a competitor even though it had no live video or audio tools at the time,” indicates the complaint. “Facebook revoked Voxer’s access to key elements of the platform and launched Facebook Live in 2015 and then Instagram Live in 2016. Both products incorporate Voxer’s technologies and infringe Voxer’s patents,” assaults the plaintiff.