LEGAL

AOL Sued Over Web Phone Patent

Klausner Technologies sued Time Warner's America Online unit over a patent for Internet telephone-related services, including AOL Voicemail and AOL Call Alert. Klausner, a patent-licensing firm, said it is seeking damages and royalties of about $200 million in the lawsuit filed in Alexandria. Klausner said America Online of Dulles infringes the patent by offering services "in which subscribers receive visual notification of new voice messages."

BlackBerry Has Backup Plan

Research In Motion said it has backup technology to keep BlackBerry devices running should a $450 million patent settlement with NTP fall apart. The three-month-old dispute may force Research In Motion to stop selling its BlackBerrys in the United States. The alternative technology would run BlackBerry phones and pagers and is designed to not infringe on patents held by NTP.

Microsoft Sues Retailers

Microsoft said it filed four lawsuits against companies in Virginia and California for alleged distribution of counterfeit or illicit software and software components. Microsoft filed suit against 9 Software of Hampton, Va.; East Outlet and Super Supplier, both of Newport News, Va. The lawsuit against 9 Software also alleges violation of the Anti-Counterfeiting Amendments Act governing the distribution of COA labels. A COA label helps identify genuine Microsoft software.

VIDEO GAMES

Vivendi to Buy Swordfish

Vivendi Universal Games, a unit of the entertainment giant, will buy video-game creator Swordfish Studios to expand development of new titles. Terms were not disclosed. Vivendi will keep the 45 developers who work for Birmingham, England-based Swordfish, which already creates some games for Vivendi.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.