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Parus Interactive Awarded Patent for Natural Intuitive Speech Recognition to Manage Communications

Friday, July 27, 2007

Bannockburn, IL -- Parus Interactive, a leader in speech-enabled unified communications, received a Notice of Allowance from the U.S. Patent Office on July 19, 2007 for a patent that will revolutionize the way consumers and businesses communicate.

The latest U.S. patent awarded to Parus Interactive allows a speaker to reply to commands with conversational language. Any device that is enabled to receive natural voice commands may be used. "The potential applications of this intuitive form of speech recognition are enormous, and will empower the user experience and deepen the effectiveness of speech applications," said Taj Reneau, Chairman and CEO of Parus Interactive.

Rather than being limited to directed prompts that instruct users on what and how to respond (such as "say yes or no"), a user can respond to a prompt with thousands of natural speech replies -- from one-word responses (even slang) to full sentences. Parus currently uses this technology in its unified communications products, asking users questions such as "What would you like to do?" and "What next?"

Jon Arnold, a Principal of J Arnold & Associates, an IP telephony analyst firm, believes the intuitive speech capability represented by the latest Parus Interactive patent award is groundbreaking. "It creates new opportunities for speech applications to automate business processes through intuitive voice interfaces that first-time users can navigate with ease and comfort," said Arnold.

The Parus Interactive invention operates over any transport medium, whether it's a public telephony or wireless network, the Internet or a private internet. "The activities covered by the new Parus Interactive patent are endless," said Reneau, "since any command involving a network communication is covered."

Network communications span all types of infrastructures, such as common telephone or conference calls, facsimiles, voice mail or e-mail messages, and messages containing data to any type of communication management function. These include opening, storing, saving, screening, retrieving, deleting, forwarding, sending, modifying, playing or reading a communication.

The newly allowed Parus Interactive patent overlays the landmark patents existing in the company's patent portfolio. Parus Interactive patents already cover the use of speech recognition to manage communications through speaker-independent speech commands over any device or transport medium.

"The importance of patents covering advances in communication technologies is becoming ever greater," said Arnold, "and the awareness of the potential power of patent portfolios such as that held by Parus Interactive is becoming increasingly widespread."

Furthermore, Parus Interactive maintains an ongoing program of filing and prosecuting continuing and new patent applications to build on the landmark patents that followed in the wake of the first Parus Interactive provisional application filed on March 3, 1997.

"The breadth of our patent portfolio represents the reality that Parus Interactive was the first company to make breakthrough inventions in the field of communications managed by speaker-independent speech recognition, and we intend to continue our efforts to build on these successes," said Reneau. "We are excited by this most recent success and believe that its claims break significant new ground in our already strong patent portfolio, particularly in the field of speech recognition used to manage communications."

The Notice of Allowance is for U.S. Patent Application Serial No. 10/877,367, a continuation of application No. 09/033,335, filed on March 2, 1998, now U.S. Patent Number 6,775,264, which in turn claimed priority to provisional application No. 60/040/056, filed on March 3, 1997. This latest patent adds to the existing Parus patent portfolio that includes U.S. patent Nos. 6,721,705; 6,775,264; 6,807,257; and 7,076,431 and Canadian patent No. 2,321,697.

About Parus Interactive

A leading provider of on-demand, speech-enabled unified communications solutions, Parus Interactive offers messaging, collaboration, presence and real-time communications for the mobile professional. Parus' services operate on any fixed, mobile or VoIP phone, as well as over the internet, to serve the mobile needs of small businesses and home offices. Parus Interactive delivers its award-winning services over its standards-based, next generation unified communications platform to professionals, small businesses and enterprise customers throughout the U.S. and Canada. Founded in 1997, Parus Interactive, a division of Parus Holdings, Inc., is headquartered in the Chicago suburb of Bannockburn, Illinois.

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