After strong pressure from the Elexctronic Frontier Foundation's Patent Busting Project, the US Patent and Trademark Office has agreed to review a patent it granted in 2005, called "Method and apparatus for implementing a computer network/Internet telephone system." The patent in question is owned by a company called C2 which was previously called Acceris Communications Technologies and which has never produced or sold a product. In 2006 the company sued every one of the major US Telecom carriers accusing them of patent infringement and all the carriers settled out of court with one time payments. The company says it believes that other companies are infringing its patents and that its patents cover most VoIP technology. (It also owns another VoIP-related patent).
The EFF has cited a patent application made and granted to researchers from Lucent Technologies in 1994. This patent covers many of the same developments as the C2 patent but was not included in their filing nor looked at by the patent examiner when the patent was granted.
Reexamining the patent will likely take up to a year and any appeals process could take as much as two years longer, so there is unlikely to be a resolution anytime soon. And if the patent is overturned we can expect to see an additional flurry of lawsuits and claims (which could all be resolved by C2 turning all the cash it got from the telcos to Lucent...)
When was the last time you evaluated the performance of your current business phone system? For most people, the answer is too long ago. Phone systems are one of the most overlooked tools in business, even though they’re also one of the most important in terms of employee productivity. more
For years, all kinds of businesses depended on Private Branch Exchange (PBX) phone systems to help facilitate direct, line-to-line communication. Over the course of the past decade, however, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) technology quickly became the go-to resource for brands. more
While more businesses make the switch to VoIP every single day, there are also many that choose to stay with the system they are used to.The rationale is almost always the same. You don’t want to shake things up when what you are already using is working. more
Choosing a phone system for your business isn’t as easy as it looks. Most people learn this the hard way. You choose a new system, and everything seems fine. Until it isn’t. In hindsight the problems always seem obvious, yet countless businesses fall into the same traps every year. more
Q: When I call a customer, they see my VoIP phone number in their caller I.D....
Q: I'm a small business owner, and I need low-cost internet telephon...
5 Standard Features every business phone should have
This article provides a detailed checklist of business phone system features for...