A new blow for Mark Zuckerberg who saw his net worth of $70 billion in 2022. Meta, the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, ordered Voxer to pay $174.5 million in damages on Wednesday. The tech giant accused the app of infringing its patents. The trial began last week in Austin.
After a joint failure
A Texas arbitrator has ruled that Meta copied the Walkie-Talkie messaging patents on live streaming features on Facebook Live and Instagram Live. According to the complaint, the mobile app enables “audio and video communications with instant live and reliable messaging and messaging” even under poor network conditions and when the receiver is unavailable.
Voxer filed suit in 2020, claiming the California-based group used its patented technology, after a failed collaboration between the two companies in 2012. Voxer explains that Facebook contacted it shortly after launching its service in 2011. An “instant win”. The start-up has provided details of its technologies to the social network, but “the meetings did not lead to a deal”, according to its lawyers.
Meta intends to appeal
“Facebook identified Voxer as a competitor even though it did not have live video or audio tools at the time,” the complaint states. “Facebook revoked Voxer’s access to key elements of the platform and launched Facebook Live in 2015, followed by Instagram Live in 2016. Both products incorporate Voxer’s technologies and infringe on its patents,” the plaintiff asserts.
A spokeswoman for the US company said Meta intends to appeal. “We believe the evidence presented at trial shows Meta did not infringe Voxer’s patents,” he said.