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, which offers perhaps the most successful predictive text keyboard app for Android, is now being sued for patent infringement by another virtual keyboard company, WordLogic
The lawsuit has been filed in the U.S. District Court in the Western District of Washington (Seattle). See the full text here
WorldLogic describes itself in the lawsuit as a “predictive text technology for computerized devices.” Predictive text technology predicts letters, words and short phrases when the user types in a letter or a few letters on a keyboard. Once an initial letter has been typed, the software predicts the next most probable letters, as well as other most likely word choices.
WordLogic says it’s been licensing and/or selling its predictive text technology since 2001, and that it owns many patents for the technology including some that are pending.
WordLogic believes that SwiftKey has violated its ‘984 Patent. The ‘984 Patent, WordLogic’s attorneys explain in the suit, is “directed to computer implemented method and system claims directed to predictive text where processing input key events associated with user input that are received, monitored, redirected. . .”
“SwiftKey has copied many functional aspects and design features of WLC’s predictive text technology,” the suit reads.
WordLogic claims it’s been in licensing negotiations with SwiftKey, but that negotiations broke down and SwiftKey has continued using technology covered by the ‘984 and other WordLogic patents.
SwiftKey decided to make its app free
last month, after establishing itself as one of the few successful paid Android apps. The company tells VentureBeat it has seen monthly user engagement go up 54 percent since dropping its previous $4 price in mid-June.
SwiftKey says it has also seen more than 12 million downloads of its free and premium themes, which also launched when the app went free. The company isn’t yet offering any specific revenue or user numbers, but the strong theme downloads show that there’s a strong user interest in customizing their keyboards.
The SwiftKey Keyboard app topped Google Play’s best-seller list in 2012 and 2013.
The companies have yet to return calls for comment.