Another Day, Another Set Of Prior Art Discovered Against Verizon's VoIP Patents

from the and-on-and-on-and-on dept

It seems like every day people discover even more prior art concerning the patents Verizon is using to cut off Vonage. First there was evidence from the VoIP forum that came out before Verizon applied for its patents. Then people turned up some evidence of a patent from 3Com that predates the Verizon patents that appears to cover the same thing. Now, Jeff Pulver has been reminded that the work he did on Free World Dialup (FWD) also appears to predate Verizon's patents by quite some time. Of course, all this prior art is great... but it likely comes way too late for Vonage. The process to get the Patent Office to even begin reviewing the patents in question will take some time, as will various responses and reviews. So don't think that, just because there's a ton of prior art, the patents are toast. Of course, the fact that these patents were granted in the first place despite all this prior art should get people to question how the patent office (doesn't) work, but it seems that few people are actually interested in digging deep into that question.


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    Ajax 4Hire, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 8:08am

    3-wire cable with over-molded connector

    works as an AC Power distribution conduit.
    The cable must be blue.

    I smell a patent.

    Prior art? We don't need no stinkin' prior art.

     

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    Overcast, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 8:08am

    I think they should have some stiff penalties for fradulent patents... like maybe how student loans works..

    If they catch you attempting to defraud the student loan system, they deny you loans forever. Should be the same with patents. Make a false claim - you never get anymore, even if they are legit.

    There needs to be something in place to counterbalance this.

     

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      Scott, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:17am

      Re:

      To Overcast,

      The fact that their may be prior art in existence to invalidate a patent, does not mean the applicant has committed fraud.

      ummmm....it just means he didnt know about the art and the Examiner didn't find it.

       

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    Justaaguy, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 8:09am

    Patents- or just another Buracraczy?

    Tell me just when does the Fedreal Government get rid of an agancy? Besides the Military the morons in congress have little interest in streamlining the massive out of control federal government.
    Everyone knows the politicians and judges are not going to do anything that might damage their special retirement they have set themselves up for.
    You any of them, IRS,FDA, HUD, Welfare, Education,
    FEMA, EPA,and lord knows how many more of this insanity.
    So Patents-- now they have no way of keeping records of who has what-- what wrong with picture?

    It simple it is another buracraczy out of control and and has long since served it's purpose of usefulness...

    Oh yeah one last thing- the Liberal mantra is" Ask not what you can do for your country- but ask how we can take care of you"....

     

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      Joe, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 9:13am

      Re: Patents- or just another Buracraczy?

      You've got it mostly right -- except for the part about:
      Besides the Military the morons in congress have little interest in streamlining the massive out of control federal government.

      New Flash: The Military _*IS*_ the "massive out of control federal government".
      We spend far more on the military than all those other things you mentioned ... COMBINED.

      We spend far more on OUR military than the rest of the world does on ITS respective militaries .... COMBINED.

      Anyone who claims to be anti-liberal, as you seem to be claiming to be, and / or a "fiscal conservative", as I state myself to be, must face the fact that the first, biggest, and best way to downsize the government starts (but doesn't end) with the military ...

      As an aside, I'm no defender of "Liberals", but its NOT "the liberals" that get the prize for creating the fastest growing government in history ... that "honor" goes the so-called "conservative" Republicans that've had majority control of all three branches of government for the last six years, a reign which ended ONLY 3 months ago ...

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 10:36am

        Re: Re: Patents- or just another Buracraczy?

        Actually all estimate put the rest of the world at more than the US, and those are estimates.

        I am pretty sure that most of the world is not giving real numbers...anymore than the US is.

         

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    Sci-Fi Guy, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 8:30am

    Say What?!

    I was watching Sci-Fi last night and lo and behold there was an add for Vonage, Right there staring me in the face.... Seems to me like there not dead yet.

     

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    Dan Brooks, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 8:41am

    Patent Office Patently Screwed Up!

    Obviously, the USPO has some issues on this one, but come on! Who would believe that a government agency is messed up? Never happen...

    As an amateur inventor, I'd be very interested in knowing how the wheels fell off the cart on this one!

     

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    Steve R. (profile), Apr 24th, 2007 @ 8:41am

    Justaaguy: The "problem" is not an out of control bureaucracy. The patent office is spineless. It is simply doing the bidding of the corporations. The real problem is that corporations are in a feeding frenzy of extorting property rights on any concept they can dream-up.

    The current issue of Forbes (5/7/2007) has a good article titled "Patent Pirates". Forbes writes "Hedge funds and institutional investors are financing the latest wave of IP lawsuits." ... "DeepNines is a tiny Dallas software maker that protects corporate computer networks from hackers and other threats. But in August it became an attacker, filing a lawsuit against McAfee (nyse: MFE - news - people ). The suit alleges that the security-software giant infringed on a DeepNines patent, one that combines an intrusion detection and prevention system with a firewall, in a single device. McAfee denies the charge, saying the patent relies on previously known technology, and is gearing up for a long and costly fight."

     

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    Vincent Clement, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 8:57am

    Some of these problems could be solved if the USPTO stopped issuing software patents. Even more problems could be solved if the USPTO also focused on obviousness and did more digging on prior art. And even more problems could be solved if the USPTO stopped approving broadly defined patents. Seems to me the solutions are easy but there appears to be another 'force' at work here.

     

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    Matt Bennett, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 9:01am

    But shouldn't the injunction at least be suspended?

     

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    Matthew, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 9:35am

    Some confusion

    Vonage appealed and was granted a temporary injunction so they can operate until facts come out. So long as they can hold out against Verizon while the gears of justice, and the patent office churn (slightly ahead of the next Ice Age), they're in business.

     

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    Davey, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 10:26am

    Seems like if the patents are overturned, Vonage should be able to sue Verizon into oblivion.

    In the meantime it is time to just shut down the patent office and invalidate everything they've ever done. Let the damn pirate corporations enforce their own "intellectual property" on their own dime, not the taxpayers'.

     

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    angry dude, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 10:35am

    techidiocy

    Whoa,

    Mike, you have finally achieved your goal: not a single thoughtful comment.
    Time to rename your shitty blog.

    This place has become worse than slashdot,
    congrats

     

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    dazcon5, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:04am

    Civilian Review

    Instead of bitching, lets all volunteer to serve as patent reviewers. You take the responsibility of researching the patents (that you have expertise in...). You are allowed 5 then must bow out for 6 months. The 6 month break helps keep corporations from "buying" the reviewer. Each patent must pass 2 reviews from subject matter experts and 1 non-expert. Not a perfect solution but a start.

     

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    Mel, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 11:24am

    Vonage wins permanent stay.

    Vonage has won a permanent stay.

     

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    Peter, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 12:07pm

    New Patent

    I plan on filing a one page patent. The art is a circle. Then I'm going after Goodyear tire. This should fly through the patent office.

     

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    Joe Smith, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 1:02pm

    evidence

    I thought that to get a patent and enforce it someone would have had to swear on behalf of Verizon that they had diligently searched for prior art and there was no prior art.

    Is this not so? If I am wrong what sworn statements, if any, would Verizon have had to put forward with respect to the existence of prior art.

     

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    Avatar28, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 9:59pm

    I read a story about this once

    Several years ago, in a book called "100 Great Science Fiction Short Short Stories." Really awesome book. All the stories in it are between 3 words and 10-15 pages. The 3 word one was entitled "The Sign At The End Of The Universe" and consisted of the text "This End Up" printed upside down.

    Anyways, one of the stories in it was about this guy who came up with this great idea. He looked through the patents and found that the idea wasn't patented. He then submitted and was granted a patent on the concept of the wheel. He became a very wealthy man. :-) Lately I've started to think the story isn't quite as far-fetched as I used to.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Apr 24th, 2007 @ 10:31pm

      Re: I read a story about this once

      Anyways, one of the stories in it was about this guy who came up with this great idea. He looked through the patents and found that the idea wasn't patented. He then submitted and was granted a patent on the concept of the wheel. He became a very wealthy man. :-) Lately I've started to think the story isn't quite as far-fetched as I used to.
      The Australian newspaper The Age reported that an Australian man has registered a patent for a "circular transportation facilitation device" - more commonly known as the wheel.

      Melbourne patent lawyer John Keogh said he registered the patent to show flaws in intellectual property laws.

       

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