Controversial VoIP Patent Gets Review By US Patent and Trademark Office

Updated: January 07, 2011

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...)

Featured Research
  • Phone Systems Comparison Guide: VoIP for Small to Midsize Businesses

    It was a painstaking process, but to help B2B companies start 2017 off on the right foot, we recently compiled a comparative list of the top 43 small to midsize business phone vendors. more

  • 16 Mistakes to Avoid When Buying a Phone System

    Purchasing a phone system for your business is a major investment. With the average business changing phone systems only once every seven years, it’s important to make the right decision. more

  • [Infographic] Top 11 VoIP Vendors

    A good VoIP provider will offer additional benefits as well, but many first-time buyers find assessing each option to be difficult. Nevertheless, this is an important step in the buying process because a substandard provider can easily waste both your time and money. more

  • The New 2017 Phone Systems Comparison Guide

    It was a painstaking process, but to help B2B companies start 2017 off on the right foot, we recently compiled a comparative list of the top 34 business phone vendors in the world. In one, easy-to-reference location, we’ve neatly outlined the information you need. more

  • 8 Common Pain Points UC Eliminates

    Many businesses rely on a collection of communication tools that they adopt to address specific needs as they arise. This strategy may seem to work in the beginning, but eventually will lead to a system that is cumbersome to use, difficult to explain to new hires, expensive, and effective in some areas, but full of gaps. more

Related Articles