October 12, 2012 - A patent suit over an iPhone and Android app called Speak for Yourself, which helps nonverbal people communicate, has been settled. The plaintiffs were Semantic Compaction Systems and Prentke Romich Company, who are the patent owner and licensee of patents related to a keyboard with keys that dynamically change.
The plaintiffs' devices are expensive, with a $7,000+ price tag that put them out of the reach of many of the people who need AAC (augmentative and alternative communication) tools. The defendant's Speak for Yourself program, on the other hand, is an affordable app that can be used on a regular iPad. The app was withdrawn from the Apple App Store and was unavailable for download during the litigation - leading to concerns about the availability of an affordable AAC tool for nonverbal children and adults.
On October 10, however, the Speak for Yourself creators announced that Semantic agreed to grant a non-exclusive license to the Speak for Yourself creators on two of Semantic’s patents, i.e., U.S. Patent Nos. 5,748,177 and 5,920,303, along with certain Semantic copyrights. The details of the settlement were not disclosed.