April 17, 2007

It was recently announced that Venali, Inc. of Coral Gables, Florida, obtained a patent for its Junk Fax Filter” technology. This patent (U.S. Patent No. 7,184,160, entitled “Spam fax filter”) includes 10 claims for spam fax filters, methods for filtering spam faxes, and machine readable storage media with spam filtering software. According to the Yahoo! Finance article (link below), [i]ncoming fax transmissions are processed using Venali's proprietary technology to compare incoming faxes to characteristics of reported junk faxes,” and [t]he accuracy of the system is based on the analysis of millions of faxes and the system continues to improve itself each day as it processes thousands of faxes for Venali's corporate clients.” The first claim of this patent claims a spam fax filter comprising “a fax transformation processor configured to transform rasterized fax images into non-rasterized representations of fax images,” a “knowledge base of fax characteristics” having spam and non-spam fax characteristics contained therein, and a comparator configured to “compare non-rasterized representations of fax images produced by said fax transformation processor with at least one of said fax characteristics to detect spam fax in the spam fax filter.” The knowledge base comprises characteristics from faxes, including fax transmission pages, image patters and image intensity. According to the patent, “it would desirable to dynamically detect spam fax in a self-learning manner without requiring manual intervention,” like manual review of numerous digitized fax images. According to the article below, “[d]espite the passage of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) in 1991 and the Junk Fax Prevention Act of 2005, unsolicited junk faxes are still too prevalent,” and that “[s]ome competitors in this space continue to offer fax blasting services to their customers, which can facilitate the distribution of junk faxes, while pretending to fight them at the same time.” According to the Venali press release (link below), the technology within this patent “detects and eliminates unsolicited faxes with virtually 100% accuracy.”

Yahoo! Finance Article: LINK
U.S. Patent No. 7,184,160: LINK
Venali, Inc. Website: LINK
Venali Press Release: LINK

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Mark Reichel
Reichel IP LLC

I am a patent attorney with Reichel IP LLC, where I concentrate my practice on patent drafting and prosecution, trademarks, and general intellectual property matters. I currently focus on the preparation and prosecution of medical device and other life sciences patent applications, and being actively involved in a number of local not-for-profit organizations.

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