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Communications Networking Patents Technology

USPTO To Review Controversial VoIP Patent 35

alphadogg writes "The US Patent and Trademark Office has agreed to review a controversial patent issued in 2001 that is claimed to cover much of the technology underlying VoIP. The patent, held by a small company called C2 Communications Technologies, is one of 10 that the Electronic Frontier Foundation has been trying to strike down for several years through its Patent Busting Project. On Friday, the patent office granted the EFF's request for a re-examination. The digital civil-liberties organization argued that another applicant had submitted basically some of the same technology to the patent office before C2 did. Patent No. 6,243,373, 'Method and apparatus for implementing a computer network/Internet telephone system,' is credited to David L. Turock as inventor and is owned by C2, previously called Acceris Communications Technologies."
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USPTO To Review Controversial VoIP Patent

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  • Wait, what? (Score:5, Informative)

    by thePowerOfGrayskull ( 905905 ) <.marc.paradise. .at.> on Saturday February 06, 2010 @03:01PM (#31047120) Homepage Journal
    The way this summary reads, EFF is fighting to bust a patent because another patent owned by C2 already covers a subset of the technology. Then it turns out that the poor phrasing was from the article itself - which further clarifies that the original patent is owned by Lucent and filed in 1994. I guess the advantage to getting the C2 patent tossed is that the Lucent patent will be expiring several years sooner... still, having that clarification in the summary might have helped.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday February 06, 2010 @04:44PM (#31047796)

    The FA is poorly written. There might be a Lucent patent c.1994, but even that is isn't enforceable. There's prior art all over the place. Google for the Wired article about Netheads vs. Bellheads (1996). Do you think VoIP was invented two years before that article?

    I just invented Voice Over IPV6. You heard it here first.

  • I'll second that (Score:3, Informative)

    by gstovall ( 22014 ) on Saturday February 06, 2010 @09:31PM (#31049550) Homepage

    Absolutely agree with your suggestion.

    The company I worked for, in the early 1990s, used Nortel Passport routers between our corporate sites. Both data and voice serving 100,000 employees passed over the connections between the routers. And we didn't have to do anything so primitive as dialing an access number to get to this intranet based system; it was tied into our PBXes, so that numbers for employees at any of our scores of locations would be routed through our intranet, and external numbers would be routed to the PSTN.

    By 1994, we were already building and using applications where a click on a link on a web page would automatically connect you to an agent at a customer call center, whether by a phone call or a VoIP connection to your PC.

"If it's not loud, it doesn't work!" -- Blank Reg, from "Max Headroom"