After Years Of Patent Litigation, Nuance Acquires Vlingo

In what Vlingo CEO Dave Grannan calls a ‘good outcome’ on Twitter, the voice-to-text technology company has just been acquired by speech recognition king Nuance.

Notably, Nuance has repeatedly sued Vlingo over patent infringement – and tried to acquire them – in the past, and Grannan once referred to competing with Nuance as “having a venereal disease that’s in remission”.

Vlingo even bought patents and eventually countersued Nuance to fend them off.

Anyway, the deal is done: Nuance is buying the company for an undisclosed sum, and says it allows them to combine their innovation and R&D expertise in the field of natural language interfaces.

Vlingo has been likened by some as a ‘Siri for Android’, offering voice-enabled Virtual Assistant apps for a wide range of mobile devices (not just Android phones but also Nokia, iPhone, BlackBerry and Windows Phone handsets) that turn spoken words into a variety of actions.

For what it’s worth, Vlingo says it’s way better than Siri. And the elephant in the room is of course that Siri is almost certainly powered by Nuance technology. And that Nuance offers Dragon Go.

Founded in 2006, Vlingo was backed by Charles River Ventures, Sigma Partners, Yahoo and AT&T.