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FAX RESPONSE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION TARGETS BROOKTROUT PATENT; FRIA SUIT CLAIMS "PRIOR ART" RENDERS FAX RESPONSE PATENT INVALID

 FAX RESPONSE INDUSTRY ASSOCIATION TARGETS BROOKTROUT PATENT; FRIA
 SUIT CLAIMS "PRIOR ART" RENDERS FAX RESPONSE PATENT INVALID
 PARSIPPANY, N.J., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- The Fax Response Industry Association (FRIA), an industry body formed to promote the benefits of fax response applications and eliminate barriers to market growth, today announced it has challenged a Brooktrout patent on fax response technology. The suit holds that the patent is invalid due to clear and convincing evidence of "prior art" -- widespread existence of fax response applications that pre-date the patent claim.
 Fax response technology (also called fax-on-demand) allows organizations to instantly provide information by fax through a computer system controlled by a telephone keypad. Users simply dial an access number and, following verbal prompts, enter their information requests by keypad. They receive the information by fax automatically.
 In letters to a number of fax response technology providers, including value-added resellers (VARs) and systems integrators, Brooktrout has demanded royalties and initial payments of $50,000. Brooktrout also threatened the companies with legal action should they refuse to pay the licensing fee.
 The suit is based on prior art uncovered by research funded by FRIA, as well as research by AT&T, which filed an earlier interference motion with the Patent and Trademark Office.
 AT&T's interference suit, abandoned in February, claimed that the Brooktrout patent (U.S. Patent No. 4,918,722) was preceded by a similar AT&T patent application. According to information from Patent and Trademark Office proceedings, AT&T was prevailing, but AT&T withdrew its claim when it discovered strong evidence of "prior art" that rendered both its own and Brooktrout's patent claims invalid.
 In its letters exacting payment, Brooktrout claims that it "prevailed" in the AT&T interference motion, which is contrary to the information contained in the Patent and Trademark Office files.
 "The fees demanded by Brooktrout are unaffordable for many of the smaller industry players, and the net effect is a chill on the marketplace," said Nick Zwick, president of Dialogic Corp. and FRIA spokesperson. "Since part of the association's charter includes combatting barriers to market growth, we have elected to file suit for a declaratory judgment against Brooktrout on behalf of the threatened parties."
 FRIA's founding members, AudioFax of Atlanta, Ga.;Dialogic Corp. of Parsippany, N.J.; FaxBack Inc. of Beaverton, Ore.; GammaLink of Sunnyvale, Calif.; and Ibex Technologies of Placerville, Calif., formed the association this year for the purpose of educating businesses and systems integrators about the potential for further growth in the rapidly expanding fax response market.
 The group plans to assess and coordinate such activities as white papers, seminars for VARs, application seminars for businesses, and discussions on appropriate technology standards for interoperability.
 The association welcomes membership inquiries from businesses involved in the development, manufacture and sale of enhanced fax systems and components. Inquiries can be faxed to Art King of FaxBack Inc., at (503) 690-6399.
 Dialogic Corp. develops and manufactures a full family of voice processing, fax and telephony hardware components and software tools.
 GammaLink is the originator of the PC-to-fax industry, providing a wide range of computer-based fax products for LANs, commercial fax services and developers.
 FaxBack sells fax-on-demand systems based on fax hardware from Intel. FaxBack is an Intel spin-off company founded in 1990.
 Ibex Technologies develops fax-on-demand systems for document and form retrieval including Factsline and Interactive Forms.
 AudioFax develops and sells fax response applications for a broad range of business customers.
 -0- 10/7/92
 /CONTACT: Nick Zwick of Dialogic Corp., 201-334-8450 or Tom Breunig of Miller Communciations, 617-536-0470/ CO: Fax Response Industry Association; Brooktrout ST: New Jersey IN: CPR SU: CON


CH -- NE008 -- 7531 10/07/92 15:11 EDT
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Date:Oct 7, 1992
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