Vonage v. The Wireless WorldPresentation Transcript
Saumil Shah IEOR 190G 3/19/08
Vonage is a VoIP(voice over IP) company that provides telephone service via a broadband connection.
In order to use the service, customers must purchase or use a "Vonage" branded "VoIP router" or a phone adapter that connects to their main router or broadband modem.
Until recently Vonage held the most subscribers at nearly 2.6 million subscriber lines, Comcast has now surpassed them, and has the most VOIP subscribers.
VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) uses a broadband Internet connection to make phone calls.
Vonage converts phone calls into data that zips through a high-speed Internet connection just like email.
Voice over IP protocols carry telephony signals as digital audio, typically reduced in data rate using speech data compression techniques, encapsulated in a data packet stream over IP.
Verizon filed a lawsuit against Vonage in June of 2006 stating Vonage had infringed on seven of its patents relating to VoIP technology.
It alleged that Vonage infringed on patents held by Verizon that describe technology for completing phone calls between VoIP users and people using phones on the traditional public switched network, authenticating VoIP callers, validating VoIP callers' accounts, fraud protection, providing enhanced features, using Wi-Fi handsets with VoIP services and monitoring VoIP caller usage.
Verizon has a similar service to VoIP but not very successful called VoiceWing.
In March 2008 a court ruled that Vonage had infringed on three of Verizon’s patents and ordered them to pay $58 million along with 5.5% revenue on future damages.
These three patents had to do with VoIP calls to the regular phone network, implementing call-waiting, and voice-mail services.
Verizon asked the court for an injunction barring Vonage from using these patents and stopping Vonage’s service but this was denied.
In 2005 Sprint sued Vonage, claiming the company was infringing on seven of its patents dealing with connecting Internet phone calls.
In September 2007, a court ordered Vonage to pay Sprint $69.5 million for infringing on six of Sprints patents.
In October of 2007, AT&T joined the patent infringement barrage on Vonage by suing them for use of one of their patents.
The single patent broadly describes the idea of routing telephone calls over data networks like the internet.
Vonage retaliated by suing AT&T for trademark infringement over their new VoIP service called CallVantage, stating that it is confusingly similar to its company and product name.
The two were near a suit deal where Vonage would pay $39 million over 5 years and both suits would be dropped.
1. U.S. Patent 6,282,574. Method, server and telecommunications system for name translation on a conditional basis and/or to a telephone number.
2. U.S. Patent 6,104,711. Enhanced internet domain name server.
3. U.S. Patent 6,359,880. Public wireless/cordless internet gateway.
Vonage infringed on a certain part of this patent that describes a method which is similar to how Vonage uses VoIP.
“ 26. A method comprising:
receiving a name translation request at a server coupled to a public packet data network;
translating a name included in the request into a destination telephone number associated with a name included in the request; and
transmitting a reply containing both the destination telephone number and a packet data network address of a telephone gateway coupled between the public packet data network and a telephone network through the public packet data network to a calling device.
27. A method as in claim 26, wherein the address is an Internet Protocol address. “
The most over generalized of all of Verizon’s claims.
Based on the previous figure, in its simplest form, if the conditional analysis produces a first result, the server 51 translates a name included in the query (e.g. domain name or telephone number based name) into a first destination IP address. If the conditional analysis produces a second result, the server 51 translates the name included in the query into a second destination IP address. The server then transmits a response message containing the first or the second destination address to a calling PC. The PC uses the received IP address to establish the desired communication through the public packet data network 31.
registering a wireless telephone terminal in a localized wireless gateway system;
transmitting registration data identifying the gateway system from the localized wireless gateway system to a home location register database through a public packet data communication network;
receiving a request from a calling computer coupled to the public packet data communication network for a call to the wireless telephone terminal;
in response to the request, accessing the home location register database and obtaining a packet data address for the localized wireless gateway system;
using the address to set up a voice communication through the public packet data communication network and the localized wireless gateway system between the calling computer and the wireless telephone terminal.
6. A method as in claim 1, wherein the public packet data communication network is a packet switched network.
7. A method as in claim 6, wherein the packet switched network comprises a system of interlinked data networks using TCP/IP protocol.
8. A method as in claim 7, wherein the system of interlinked data networks comprises the Internet.
Patents 711 and 574 describe what is essentially the VoIP service that Vonage provides to all of its customers.
Patent 880 is not as important because it does not deal with an integral part of Vonage’s services.
Vonage almost had its entire service shut down due to these patent infringements.