In 2010, Advanced Voice Recognition Systems received notice from the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO) of a declaration of an interference relating to the company’s patented voice recognition technology. An interference is a proceeding conducted by the USPTO in instances where two or more parties claim patent rights to the same technology where that technology is patentable to each party but for the existence of the other party. It was back in November of 1995 that Advanced Voice Recognition Systems originally filed a broad based patent application that included 42 claims covering a wide range of automatic speech recognition (ASR) features. The patent describes a word tagging and editing system for speech recognition.

In September of 1996, approximately ten months after that original Advanced Voice Recognition Systems filing, a company called Allvoice Development LTD filed an application for a U.S. patent, and it is this patent which is being challenged in the interference. The date of patent application filing, which is in favor of Advanced Voice Recognition Systems, is critical when it comes to a declaration of interference, since the presumption made by the USPTO is that the earliest filing reflects the order of invention. The burden of proof rests with parties filing later, in this case Allvoice, who must somehow prove that their invention came first, or they may face the cancellation of their patent claims corresponding to the count in the interference. The declaration of interference is a clear recognition by the USPTO of conflict between the two patents, and as per the USPTO calandar the final documents were filed on December 2, 2010, with oral arguments scheduled for this month.

Advanced Voice Recognition Systems President and CEO, Walter Geldenhuys, was obviously pleased with the USPTO announcement, and the fact that Advanced Voice Recognition Systems is in the senior position, having been established as the first to file. “Intellectual property is key to the success of AVRS,” he said. “This application in interference was filed in July 1999. After years of hard work and the expenditure of significant resources, we have the declaration of interference. When someone tries to take our property, without our permission through a license, we expect to take action to protect the interests of our shareholders and future licensees.”

Management believes that it may be more advantageous for Advanced Voice Recognition Systems to pursue license agreements or other strategic relationships with other companies. Previously Advanced Voice Recognition Systems developed and marketed Digital Dictate through distribution channels.

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