Quick! Who Else Has A VoIP Patent That Vonage Can Settle Over?

from the sue-and-settle! dept

We've covered in too much detail how it's some sort of "open season" on Vonage when it comes to VoIP patents. After dealing with ridiculous and expensive patent lawsuits from companies who failed to actually innovate in the same way Vonage did, the company was pressured by Wall Street to quickly settle the various patent lawsuits filed against the company. Of course, rather than settle matters, that simply opened the door for other companies to go searching through their patent portfolios to see if there was anything they could sue Vonage over. Indeed, following those settlements it didn't take long for AT&T to dig up a patent and sue -- which was quickly settled as well. Thought things were over? No such luck. Nortel just showed up last month to sue and it took all of about a week and a half for Vonage to settle that case as well.

The Nortel case is slightly different because Vonage actually already had a patent infringement lawsuit going against Nortel, but it wasn't really initiated by Vonage. Instead, it had been initiated by a patent holding firm that Vonage bought in 2006. The end result of the settlement doesn't involve money changing hands, but just a cross licensing agreement for the patents. So what's the big lesson that Vonage and others have learned from this? It's certainly got nothing to do with innovating. It's to hoard as many patents as possible so that you have your own nuclear stockpile for when someone else sues you. Want to know why the USPTO is overwhelmed? It's not because there aren't enough examiners (as some will claim) or that there aren't enough funds. It's because the way the system now works is that you are supposed to file patents on every tiny little advancement so you can use it to protect yourself against lawsuits from everyone else. That's not about innovation. It's about waste. In the meantime, since it's still open season at Vonage, who's going to be next? There are a ton of other patents in the VoIP space that can surely be used in a lawsuit, right?

Reader Comments

Subscribe: RSS

View by: Time | Thread


  1. icon
    Mike (profile), 2 Jan 2008 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Hmmm

    People and companies do not invent and develop new technologies to freely share them with the rest of the world
    They do it to make money, lots of money


    And, no one has ever claimed that you can't make money without patents, other than angry dude. Of course, he's flat out wrong on that, and knows that, because we've pointed out examples over and over again where people make plenty of money and continue to innovate without patents.

    How does Angry Dude respond? With lies, personal attacks on me and crude language. Very convincing.

    What is most amazing to me is angry dude's inability to actually respond to evidence when presented or to respond when we've pointed out his outright fabrications.

Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Use markdown for basic formatting. HTML is no longer supported.
  Save me a cookie
Follow Techdirt
Techdirt Gear
Show Now: Takedown
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Essential Reading
Techdirt Deals
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Techdirt Insider Chat
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads
Recent Stories
Advertisement
Report this ad  |  Hide Techdirt ads

Close

Email This

This feature is only available to registered users. Register or sign in to use it.