Friday, February 17, 2006

Nuance Communications Sues Tellme Networks: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

"Nuance Communications Files Lawsuit Against Tellme Networks Over Patent Infringement
BOSTON (AP) -- A patent dispute has erupted between a provider of speech-recognition technology and a manager of voice-driven phone systems for several large directory-assistance and customer-service clients.
Shares of Nuance Communications Inc. rose more than 9 percent to a 52-week high Friday after the company filed a federal lawsuit against privately held Tellme Networks Inc.
Nuance, however, says it doesn't expect its lawsuit will disrupt services, even though the complaint seeks an injunction to halt what Nuance considers an infringement on patents covering technology for receiving voice input and database query techniques.
'Our intent is to cause zero disruption with current services,' said Richard Mack, a spokesman for Burlington-based Nuance.
The two companies have done business together for years, with Nuance providing speech-recognition technologies that Tellme licenses to manage phone systems for automated customer services and for 411 directory information.
Tellme's customers include Verizon Communications Inc., Merrill Lynch & Co. Inc., Fidelity Investments and UnitedHealth Group Inc., and it also operates the 1-800-555-1212 directory service.
Tellme spokeswoman Marci Gottlieb said the company doesn't comment on pending litigation."

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