Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

That Didn't Take Long: Vonage Asks Court To Review Verizon Patents Under New Supreme Court Rules

from the quick-response dept

Well, that certainly didn't take very long at all. Just a day after the Supreme Court smacked down the Federal Circuit for not properly reviewing patents for "obviousness," Vonage has used the case as an opportunity to ask the courts for a retrial in their VoIP patent lawsuit with Verizon. Vonage claims that, under the new obviousness test, Verizon's patents may be toast. When combined with recent discoveries of prior art that certainly may be true. This certainly is opportunistic of Vonage, but it will be interesting to see how the courts react to this request. One thing that that's definitely become clear is that courts at all levels are actually going to have to look more closely at obviousness, rather than brushing it off as they have for years. In the meantime, expect many more cases along these lines in the near future. It may clog the system for a bit, but if the end result is fewer bogus patents, it's worth it.

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  1. identicon
    just me, 2 May 2007 @ 4:17am

    A good test, and a good means for business everywhere to take notice in case they have any "not so bright ideas".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. identicon
    LesterRay, 2 May 2007 @ 4:55am

    What the hell is obviousness

    In regards to this case of course. to me this is not so obvious. Is not a patent a patent and if it is infringed upon is that not obvious. Obviously since this has not been commented on by anyone other than us it is quite clear this court is to smart for their own good. Ummm, I don't know what I'm saying, maybe I have not had enough coffee this morning...THIS IS OBVIOUS...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. identicon
    ChrisLeigh, 2 May 2007 @ 5:18am

    What happened to personal conscience

    Todays business world you have to have a law to tell you that your obviously wrong and then a court to make you do it. Then what is the next law I can skirt around. It reminds me of a lawyer turned former president was guest lecturing at my cousins law school. He said laws were not to be obeyed but broken. If we lived in a society were morals was king and money was not. Then people like this would be socially ruined. No amount of money could buy an ounce of respect. It doesn't matter what your bank account is. What does matter what you did to get that bank account.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    SomePerson, 2 May 2007 @ 5:26am


    What's OBVIOUS is that Verizon's original claim that Vonage was infringing one or more of their "patents" is complete and utter BS. And this is why Vonage is filing for a re-trial. Verizon filed a false claim and paid off a judge to get a ruling in their get Vonage shut down. Now that the courts are starting to realize that all these "you stole my idea" cases are bogus...Vonage definetely has a good chance for a re-trial. I am all for it and I hope Vonage wins.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Sanguine Dream, 2 May 2007 @ 6:22am


    I understand there were no contengiencies for RIM to get its money back but I'm sure they will try to come up with something. It would be so nice if they did. I know that it is almost impossible to prove effort in the market but everyone knows that NTP didn't even try to innovate and just waited for someone else to do the work for them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    RandomThoughts, 2 May 2007 @ 6:38am

    The judge in the original trial stated at the beginning that he would not rule on the patent itself but only if Vonage was infringing on Verizon's patent.

    He ruled that the patent itself wasn't his jurisdiction and left that to other courts. That probably was a good idea.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2007 @ 6:46am

    Re: What the hell is obviousness

    The reason this is obvious is that Vonage got patents for technology that was already in existence. Thats why it will be interesting to see how this pans out.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2007 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: What the hell is obviousness

    I think you mean "Verizon got patents on technology that was already in existence."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Concerned Customer, 2 May 2007 @ 8:19am

    Patent cry is Bull!!!!

    Verizon is obviously jealous of Vonage because they can offer a better service much cheaper than those crooks at Verizon!!!! Stop Hatin Verizon and lower your prices for the same service. Oh I forgot...You guys don't offer the service.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    scate, 2 May 2007 @ 8:35am

    Opportunistic? Hmmm...Let's see:

    "exploiting chances offered by immediate circumstances without reference to a general plan or moral principle"

    Nope, not opportunistic. While they are taking advantage of new court decision, they have that right and they are not doing so in an immoral way. It seems fairly clear that Verizon's patents are blatantly obvious, of the "you got chocolate in my peanut" variety and there seems to be prior art--making them doubly invalid.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    PhysicsGuy, 2 May 2007 @ 9:26am


    so did techdirt actually get that patent for "a website that looks like the acned buttocks of michael jackson"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 2 May 2007 @ 10:16am

    Re: patents

    If you have nothing better to do than complain, why don't you start your own blog. You can sit on there and rant about how great you are all day long, and then you will only be affecting yourself instead of making everyone else read your silly cross-thread whining.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. identicon
    Danimal, 2 May 2007 @ 10:41am

    Re: Patent cry is Bull!!!!

    Okay, I think Verizon sucks as much as the next guy, but they do offer a service very similar to Vonage at the exact same pricepoint: Voicewing by Verizon (

    I was actually considering switching from Vonage to them until they sued Vonage.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    glitch, 2 May 2007 @ 11:34am

    i dont think verizon sux, nor that vonage is a god

    i had verizon and also at & t callvantage....they were both far beneath vonage quality wise. been there, done that...choice by actutal use

    i do maintain a verizon landline...due only to 911 concerns..i know if i dial 911 and cant speak, the 911 center that gets that call is in radio communication with my local police, fire & ambulance..

    another issue i have with verizon is there broadband availability...around here, there is none. in my situiation [location] ROI is not visible, even a breakeven point is not very probable.

    nor would i ever accept them putting out "if you used voicewing, maybe we would invest".

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Allan, 7 May 2007 @ 8:49am

    Significant developments in 2007

    Significant developments in 2007 to date are:

    - In January 2007, the Company received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office with respect to its "Private IP Communication Network Architecture" patent application, which covers the delivery of telecommunication type services across a network using digital technology.

    - On March 21 2007, the European Patent Office published its decision to grant C2 a European patent that is equivalent to its U.S. Patent No. 6,243,373.

    - In April, a trial scheduling conference was held with respect to the Company's patent infringement lawsuit against AT&T, Inc., Verizon Communications, Inc., Qwest Communications International, Inc., Bellsouth Corporation, Sprint Nextel Corporation, Global Crossing Limited, and Level 3 Communications, Inc. August 4, 2008 was set as the trial date.

    Please see the Company's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ended December 31, 2006, filed with the SEC on March 16, 2007, and the Company's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the three months ended March 31, 2007, filed with the SEC on May 4, 2007, for further information.

    About C2 Global Technologies Inc.

    C2's business is focused on licensing its patents, which include two foundational patents in VoIP technology. C2 plans to realize value from its intellectual property by offering licenses to service providers, equipment companies and end-users that are deploying VoIP networks for phone-to-phone communications. For further information, please visit C2's website at

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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