back to article Sprint Nextel and Verizon jury trials have Vonage on the brink

Sprint has won a second jury trial over patent infringement against US VoIP service Vonage, in what is an echo of the defeat inflicted earlier by Verizon. The patent numbers used in the Sprint Nextel case versus Vonage could all be about the same patent, the process of mapping a narrowband message, for instance a PSTN network …

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What did you have in your coffee?

"Surely the Supreme Court has to fix that for the benefit of progress"

That is certainly not the job of the supreme court so it's a bit pathetic hoping for it. And, secondly, VoIP is most definitely not progress.

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Coat

Lawyers only winner here

The only winners here are the lawyers because VoIP is a great offer that delivers real value. Pity since it is likely that Vonage will hemorrhage due to the FUD factor (fear, uncertainty and doubt). And worse, it will give a black eye to all of the other good providers like Net2Phone and Lingo.

I have Net2Phone and I like them because they seem to have focused primarily on developing technology with a great set of features - rather than throw money at campaigns. After more than 10 years, they are not the Johnny come lately so at least I feel safe with them.

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Um, yeah they do.

U.S. Constitution, Article I, Section 8:

The Congress shall have power to ... promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

U.S. Constitution, Article III, Sections 1 and 2:

The judicial power of the United States, shall be vested in one Supreme Court ...[and such]... power shall extend to all cases, in law and equity, arising under this Constitution...

So we clearly have two matters under that the Supreme Court could decide on:

1) Whether the limited times established by the Congress actually promote science and useful arts. If the times are so long as to retard progress, Congress has exceeded it's legislative authority;

2) Whether the patent is for a discovery. If it's not a discovery, then Congress does not have the authority to protect it by patent.

Matt

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VoIP To PSTN interconnect

So now that BT is going to install VoIP over the whole UK network; does this mean that Sprint Nextel and Verizon will refuse all calls to/from BT; or is BT using a different Patent?

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Dead Vulture

The real problem...

...is that the American patent office, the USPTO, is shackled by rules that don't allow it to actually look for or find prior art for high tech patents. Not to mention rules that reward patent examiners for approving patents, while punishing them for rejecting them. Even though most of us in the business can easily point out scads of prior art for many of the patents that the USPTO keeps awarding, the USPTO isn't allowed to look at it, because it's not in the "approved locations". A setup that was, of course, lobbied for by certain companies many years ago.

Basically, the American patent and copyright system is fundamentally flawed when it comes to high tech. Rather than rewarding innovation, it rewards those with deep pockets while stifling innovation. As more and more of these useless, prior-art patents are being awarded, we're seeing less and less real research being done in the USA, simply because the budgets are going to legal teams to protect themselves against frivolous lawsuits for bogus patents held by immoral trolls or wanna-be monopolists.

I say go for it USA! Let your high tech industry slowly wither on the vine. Then civilized countries can slap down the resulting monopolies, encourage real research, and you can be left with your plutocracy and it's carefully divided up monopolies.

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Cisco, et al. are safe

I'm not a lawyer, nor do I know much about telecoms and VOIP. But I can say with near certainty that the equipment manufacturers (Cisco, et al) are safe from the telecoms companies. Mind you, I'm not saying they are not liable. I'm saying that the telecoms companies won't go after them. Simply put, the telecoms companies WANT competitors to use these technologies and grow big so that they can be sued out of existence with the telecoms companies getting nice big fat checks.

As an aside, I question how a percentage-based royalty is ever appropriate. All that means is that Vonage will have to pay higher royalties if they raise their prices, even though nothing will have changed.

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Anonymous Coward

Progress

"And, secondly, VoIP is most definitely not progress."

What? Is the possibility to incorporate voice communication in a greater number of devices and providing innovative new services not progress?

Besides, the most of the worlds mobile networks packet switched rather than circuit switched now. This obviously doesn't equate to them being VoIP. But it still shares a central component.

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Laughable...

...the modern day patent system and modern day civil litigation.

Modern business models at their finest. Flood the obviously flawed patent system with CRAP, then when your bullshit patent finally makes it through, use it to SUE your competitors instead of trying to be better than they are.

Overheard at a tradeshow recently: "I know, they got SCO'd as soon as ____ realized it was a money generator!" (didn't recognize or retain the company name).

It becomes more and more clear to me that the story of David and Goliath would have turned out entirely differently had it gone to court or arbitration.

To all the REAL innovators out there in hiding, I would like to offer my condolences that your efforts will result in your idea either being stolen before you can legitimately patent it, or it will result in your doom in a civil court because someone will find a way to wedge their patents in.

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Dead Vulture

doesn't this seem a bit

like it should have been decided years ago and don't you have to sell a product to be in violation of a patent they are consumers but they don't sell this they use it. Is this a business model patent it seems to me any agreement they made with the switch sellers should cover their customers as well or it means nothing. In other words how can sue someone for just buying gear I thought you had to make and sell it to be in violation.

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Actually, it is the job of the Supreme Court

And the patent court to evaluate patent standards against the constitutional reason given for patents and copyright, "to promote the useful arts and sciences."

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Gates Horns

hold flkso

for all you folks out there that think the patten system is broke, or that this means that viop will be killed . Vonage is the the only viop provider out there being sued for patten infringement. Comacast state side is not being suied and they have a larger customer base than vonage . I work for the number 3 viop provider state side to My company is not being sued .

SO why is it that only vonage is being sued ??

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Dead Vulture

Jurors fucking themselves...

Regardless of their understanding of technology or patent law, why would those godamn ass-fucking blaggards rule in favor of non-competitive business and against their own interests as consumers?

"Thank you sir, may I have another?"

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wow

This kain preacher is something else, must have been doing some serious drinking. Vonage was easy picking, they are young, flush with IPO cash for the taking, and don't have a big patent portfolio to fight back with. Obviously the big plan for the telecoms is to go after the easiest victim to establish legal precedent, then go after the others.

Dude, I would worry about my job if I were you.

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