IP Unity buys more messaging tech

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IP Unity, which plays in the back-end application and media server space for carriers, announced today that it was snapping up the messaging business of Glenayre Technologies — as well as part of its name — for $25 million.

On a conference call announcing the deal today, IP Unity CEO Arun Sobti said IP Unity “knew we had to merge to get to the next level,” as global reach was going to be essential in the messaging and enhanced services space.

Among other offerings, Glenayre currently offers video mail, video portals and video storefronts for 3G operators, probably one of the jewels most interesting to IP Unity.

IP Unity, which currently counts Earthlink, BT, Qwest and Sprint-Nextel among its customers, said it would next review both companies’ developing technologies to come up with “the best in breed” in several technology areas both were working on. Given the early-days nature of many of these technologies, having more development skills on board can only help IP Unity, though we’re not sure about how to design a logo for something called IP Unity Glenayre.

“In video and video portals, we were both far along that track,” Sobti said. “We’re going to take the best of each component.” In terms of possible name confusion, Glenayre execs said the parent company is going to soon ask shareholder permission to change the name to Entertainment Distribution Company, the current half of Glenayre that distributes pre-recorded entertainment material.

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A very interesting portfolio from an patent perspective on the www messaging side, including:

US Patent 6,938,074
“[a voice mail] message processing system may be used locally in a closed environment or over the Internet”

teh ‘074 patent also ties back to an older issued patent US 6,421,708
“messages types include voice messages, pages, facsimile messages and electronic mail messages”

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