Meta Inc., the parent company of Facebook and Instagram, was found by a federal jury in Austin, Texas, to have infringed on two patents held by Voxer Inc., a walkie talkie messaging app founded by a former Army Green Beret.
A ruling for over $175 million in damages was issued against the social media giant. When the first-ever Silicon Valley Business App Awards were held in 2013, the app, which Voxer released in 2011, won Best Overall App. Voxer shared its patents and confidential data with Facebook after the company was contacted by the social media giant in 2012 about a possible partnership. Even though Facebook did not have a live video or speech product at the time, “Facebook regarded Voxer as a competitor when early conversations did not result in an agreement,” according to court documents. Voxer’s access to important areas of the Facebook platform was terminated by Facebook, which also introduced Instagram Live in 2016 after launching Facebook Live in 2015. Both goods violate Voxer’s patents and incorporate its technologies. The social media giant Meta will continue to pursue the matter in court, a spokesperson for the company said in a statement given to tech outlet TechCrunch.