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EFF Patent Busting - Prior Art Needed for VOIP 170

Posted by Zonk
from the who-you-gonna-call dept.
JumperCable writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation is seeking to bust an overly broad patent by a company called Acceris. Acceris claims patents on processes that implement voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) using analog phones as endpoints. These patents cover telephone calls over the Internet. Specifically, the claims describe a system that connects two parties where the receiving party does not need to have a computer or an Internet connection, but the call is routed in part through the Internet or any other 'public computer network'. The calls must also be 'full duplex', meaning that both parties can listen and talk at the same time, like in an ordinary phone call. To bust these overly broad claims, we need 'prior art' — any publication, article, patent or other public writing that describes the same or similar ideas being implemented before September 20, 1995."
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EFF Patent Busting - Prior Art Needed for VOIP

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  • VOIP Prior Art (Score:5, Interesting)

    by azrider (918631) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:27AM (#18645087)
    Not sure if it was patented, but in the 70's when I worked for IBM, all office extensions worldwide went through the "tie-line". This was a linkup that used the massive IBM internal global network to make calls, i.e. I call Tokyo from LA and the call never touches the PSTN apparatus. Indeed, it never left the building on anything other than data lines. The phones at the desks were plain old analog WE2500 sets.
  • by scsirob (246572) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:38AM (#18645129)
    How about this link: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1895,1161458,00.as p [pcmag.com]

    It describes a voice adapter for Artisoft LANTastic in 1990. I used to operate a LANtastic network but didn't use the voice adapters. However, it seems to fit the 'prior art(isoft)' requirement ;-)
  • Graham Article (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Rob_Warwick (789939) <warwick&applefritter,com> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:51AM (#18645173) Homepage Journal
    I'm not sure if this qualifies, since the article wasn't written until 2005, but Paul Graham mentions in one of this articles that a friend of his wrote some VoIP software in 1994. The article is available online [paulgraham.com].

    In 1994 my friend Koling wanted to talk to his girlfriend in Taiwan, and to save long-distance bills he wrote some software that would convert sound to data packets that could be sent over the Internet. We weren't sure at the time whether this was a proper use of the Internet, which was still then a quasi-government entity. What he was doing is now called VoIP, and it is a huge and rapidly growing business.
  • Break Stupid Laws (Score:4, Interesting)

    by essence (812715) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @06:57AM (#18645201) Homepage Journal
    Not sure if this would work, it would probably just end up in people getting sued bigtime, but what if there was a 'class action' of sorts, where a whole heap, and I mean heap, of people/companies used patented ideas, and basically told the patent office and the patent holders to get fucked. It would take co-ordination, but done on a mass scale, the point could be made, and the patent system reformed.

  • by WetCat (558132) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @07:31AM (#18645357)
    Samoilenko S.I "Seti EVM" (Computer Networks), Moscow, Nauka, 1986

    which describes Adaptive Communication (connecting voice phones using packet switching).
    This book also referencing
    Bellamy J.C. Digital Telephony. John Wiley and Sons, 1982

    May be something can be found in that book too?
  • Re:ISDN (Score:2, Interesting)

    by synoniem (512936) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @07:39AM (#18645405)
    What is the difference between a connection over a X25 network and "the internet"? Especially in the early days of internet X25 networks were used a lot.
  • Re:Vocaltek? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by JonathanR (852748) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @08:10AM (#18645559)
    The company I worked for (Automotive parts manufacturing) between Sept '95 and Jan '97 had a system where interstate (non-local) calls could be routed through their leased data lines. There was a dialling prefix for each endpoint node. The data lines were ordinarily used for warehouse inventory/stock control operations (I think it was a VAX/VMS system, so I'm not sure what networking protocols were used for these data links). This was introduced halfway through my period of employment there, and given the conservative nature of the company, I'd be surprised if this was a bleeding edge installation at the time. Obviously it would have been developed well before this implementation.
  • by dybdahl (80720) <(kd.lhadbyd) (ta) (ofni)> on Saturday April 07, 2007 @09:46AM (#18646137) Homepage Journal
    I attended the Telecom 95 exhibition in Genève, and I still remember how the news went around, that the finnish telephone backbone would be expanded using IP-capable equipment, to carry both internet traffic and telephone calls. This seemed very logical at that time, for those who knew about TCP/IP. I cannot believe that such huge investments in using the IP protocol for telephone traffic was made, unless the decision makers had seen internet telephony work. This means, that there is prior art somewhere.

    I suggest that you look into the PR messages released at the Telecom 95 exhibition, and then do some research on those that cover telephony over TCP/IP.
  • The problem isn't the *obvious* issue. I mean, it wasn't obvious to me in 1995, or most other people I'd wager. The problem is the scope of the patent. No one should be able to patent "processes that implement voice-over-Internet protocol (VoIP) using analog phones as endpoints." It is way to broad. Acceris should hold a patent on A SINGLE process to implement VoIP. You shouldn't be able to patent an end result, just the specific way you used to get there. Patents like this make clean room reverse engineering, work arounds, and competing methods all illegal without the patent holder's permission.
  • Found one! (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DigitAl56K (805623) on Saturday April 07, 2007 @12:17PM (#18647569)
    Please google "1994 gsm over ip"

    http://goliath.ecnext.com/coms2/gi_0199-721578/ip- access-and-RigNet-deliver.html [ecnext.com]

    M2 PRESSWIRE-24 February 2004-ip.access: ip.access and RigNet deliver GSM Abis over IP via satellite; ip.access and RigNet partner for implementation of GSM-over-IP-over-satellite solution; Successful trial paves way for delivery of GSM services to remote locations(C)1994-2004 M2 COMMUNICATIONS LTD

    Also looks interesting:
    http://kbs.cs.tu-berlin.de/~jutta/toast.html [tu-berlin.de]
    http://kbs.cs.tu-berlin.de/~jutta/gsm/toast-igp.ht ml [tu-berlin.de]

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