AT&T Joins The Party Of Jealous Telcos: Sues Vonage For Patent Infringement

from the anyone-else-want-in? dept

If you can't beat 'em, sue 'em for patent infringement. That seems to be the lesson that various telcos have learned in dealing with Vonage. Having seen Verizon and Sprint win big awards for patent infringement against Vonage, AT&T has now sued the company for patent infringement as well. The story, once again, is exactly the same. AT&T tried, and failed, to compete with Vonage in the marketplace. So now that they've lost, they've sued. It has nothing to do with Vonage "stealing" any technology. The technology behind VoIP is fairly straightforward. Perhaps that's why it seems like everyone claims to have VoIP patents. At this point, it's just ridiculous piling on against the first company that actually figured out how to market a VoIP telephone replacement service by a bunch of telcos who refused to innovate.

Filed Under: patents, telcos, voip
Companies: at&t, sprint, verizon, vonage

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    Mike (profile), 22 Oct 2007 @ 12:06pm


    Wow, Vonage did fight Verizon in court. They lost. A few juries ruled that Vonage violated patents. One jury even ruled on the merit of the patent. Vonage still lost.

    It's worth noting here that juries almost *ALWAYS* rule in favor of the patent holder, as they rarely have the technical knowledge to determine whether or not a patent is crap.

    Maybe Vonage settled the Sprint lawsuit because they knew they were going to lose?

    Indeed, but they could still lose and it wouldn't change the questionable nature of the patents.

    Yeah, Vonage brought VoIP to the masses (well, sort of) while the telco's didn't. Of course, if you don't worry about losing money in order to gain customers and run commercials everywhere, I guess you can do that. I wouldn't call that a good business plan, but you can.

    Both Verizon and AT&T launched nearly identical (and eventually identically priced) services to Vonage, but were unable to capture significant marketshare. So to argue that it's all about price is simply, factually wrong.

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