I heard recently heard that Vonage are being sued by Verizon for patent breach.
I was digging through the patents after I was linked to them, and was shocked to see the wording of some patents.
They are so poorly worded. I was browsing the titles, and just for VoIP i found a few weirdly worded topics, like “VoIP Gateway”. What on earth are they trying to pull there? Trying to sue all VoIP gateway providers for providing a VoIP service.
Actually, just looking at this for a moment, Verizon taking Vonage to court, it’s very well possible the same could happen with sites like e164.org, which basically use ENUM to turn telephone numbers into .. anything, including IP addresses.
The patent owned by Verizon I’m lead to believe is exactly that. They turn a phone number into an IP address. That’s not a crime. Actually, here’s something, the inventor of TCP/IP could sue Verizon for breaching the design priniciples of end to end translation. Or, how about the same principle with DNS ? Core network protocols, and they don’t scream patent breach.
Anyway, you dig deeper and you can see patents lapsing because they weren’t renewed for example. Looking at the costs, you could also agree that it is kind of costly to maintain a patent as well, espiecially when you are only buying into patents to abuse them and sue anyone that develops anything surrounding the technology.
What’s next? Telstra suing iiNet / Internode for being the leader in marketing ADSL2+?
I do hope that things work out well for Vonage, because this is absolute trash. It’s not within the realm of patents which is to protect someone’s intellectual property (ie, inventions) from being copied, and Vonage provided a simple number to IP translation service, that seems fine.
Actually, if you really think, long, hard and deep about it, the VoIP technology is basically turning a phone number into an IP address. Let’s see Verizon try and take on the rest of the world’s VoIP providers for providing free on-net calls, ie. translating 101 into sip:email@example.com – nearly exactly what the case is with Vonage.
Patents are there to do a few things, but inclusive in that is to ensure unique developments in the science realms, we don’t really need 5 of everything developped, if the first one isn’t being held in an anti competitive monopoly. We do need more innovation, it’s the way forward, right? What’s the point in moving forward in areas, if everyone’s gonna try and sue you for.. innovating? Utilising science, or for want of a better phrase, bringing the future to you – “Using their heads”.
I should just go patent the “concepts and theories of creating a patent”. I could from that point on take everyone of them down for thinking of a patent. It’s kind of restrictive. I think people deserve a right to see their work protected, but at the same time, they shouldn’t be capable of suing someone just because they came up with a genuine use for an idea, or modified an idea to fit into a different realm. The ambiguity of some of them is very bad. They could be expected to detail, in great detail, and possible applications, of their invention, and that’d probably narrow things down a bit more.