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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:30 pm    Post subject: Verizon Patents - Clear proof of prior art from 1995 Reply with quote Back to top

This is reprinted from:

The comp.dcom.telecom newsgroup dated Sep 22 1995, 3:00 am

Correct me if I am wrong, but isn't Jack publicly speaking of the same technology years before Verizon applied for the patents?

Dan Connor


Newsgroups: comp.dcom.telecom
From: (Jack Decker)
Date: 1995/09/22
Subject: New Internet/Telecom Product/Technology Wanted

I would like to offer up a suggestion for a product, or perhaps I
should say a technology. This is an idea that I had that is really an
extension of existing products, but I want to go on record as
proposing this now so that when someone gets the bright idea in a few
months or years, I can point to this as "prior art" (the Telecom
Archives ARE permanent, aren't they?). Smile

The idea is this: At some point on the Internet you have a server that
connects to the telephone network. It can detect ringing and seize
(answer) the line, or it can pick up the line and initiate outdialing.
So far all of this can be done using existing products (modems, for
example). But what I would then propose for this new technology is to
take the audio from the phone line and convert it into an audio data
stream that can be sent to another location on the Internet. In a
similar manner, this product should be able to accept an audio stream
from the Internet and send it out to the phone line.

On the user (client) end, a companion product (designed to work with
the server) would operate similar to IPhone or another two-way voice
over Internet product, except that when the server receives a ringing
signal from the telephone line, it would sent a data packet to the
user's program that would cause an audible (or other) signal to sound
or appear on the video display of the user's computer. The user could
then take some action to "answer the phone" by causing the server to
take the phone line offhook and start the audio streams flowing, and
the computer user would then be able to hold a conversation with the
telephone caller. Or, if the user wished to make an outgoing call,
they could enter a number to be called and then take some action
(keypress, mouse click, etc.) that would cause information to be
transmitted via the Internet that would cause the server to take the
line offhook, dial the requested number using touch tones or dial
pulses, and then start the audio data streams flowing, permitting the
user to converse with a called party.

In this situation, the telephone line would come into one location
that is connected to the Internet, and the user of the line could be
almost anywhere else on the Internet. They'd be able to answer an
incoming call, or place an outgoing one, and then talk using an IPhone
or similar type interface. Depending on the user's hardware (sound
card) and preference, the connection could be half duplex (either
"press a key/button to talk" or VOX type operation), or nearly
full-duplex (I say "nearly" because there would be a slight delay
inherent in sending audio streams via the Internet).

For those familiar with amateur radio phone patches, this would be a
similar type of connection, except that instead of connecting a
telephone line to a radio transceiver, it would connect to a device
that converts digital audio data streams sent via the Internet to and
from analog signals compatible with the telephone line.

I would expect that there would be some sort of authentication between
the client and server sides, probably in the form of a password
required to use the server (which would be sent automatically any time
a command was sent to pick up the line). And care would have to be
taken that once a connect was initiated, no other user could "break
in" and grab the open line. On the other hand, the server should be
capable of accepting connections from more than one client (and
multiple passwords, in case more than one user should be allowed to
have access to the server, and you want to have an accounting of which
user was connected at any particular time).

The uses should be obvious ... any time you want to answer a phone
line or place a call from a remote location that has an internet
connection, and don't care about a slight time delay (which might be
pretty minimal on some connections), this technology could be used.
Assuming decent connectivity, the connection (from the telephone side)
should sound no worse than, say, a patched call from a two-way radio
(or even from some cellular phones!).

Basically, this would be the equivalent of an "off premises extension"
using the Internet. One possible application, given sufficently well
connected sites, would be to allow people to take calls coming into a
call center from another off-premises location, using the technology I
have proposed to carry the audio while they use some other software
(either local software or another net application) to actually look up
information, enter orders, etc. You'd probably need an ISDN line or
other high capacity "pipe" to the off-premises location to get audio
quality and transmission speed sufficient to make this work.

Please, no flames about whether this SHOULD be done, how much
"bandwidth" it will consume, etc. Both regulations and the capacity
of Internet connections vary from place to place. What is illegal or
a drain on bandwidth in one place may be quite legal, and consume only
a fraction of a percent of available bandwidth in another place. And
as we all know, regulations prohibiting bypass of the phone company
are being lifted in many places (if they're not gone already) and
higher capacity "pipes" are being constructed all the time (just as a
side note, I mentioned the bandwidth issue regarding audio streams to
a friend who works at an ISP. He said that these would hardly be
noticed on their network, but they have a relative large "pipe" to the
backbone. YMMV. especially with a smaller provider).

The main ideas I want to have on record as "prior art", in case
nobody's tried to patent them yet (I hope), are:

1) The idea of taking a unidirectional or bidirectional digital audio
stream from the Internet and converting it to analog and sending it to
or from a telephone line,

2) The idea of using client software at a user's site on the Internet
to remotely control another device on the net that can initiate a call
or answer a call (this is prior art anyway, as folks have used remote
modems on the internet for over a decade, but this may be the first
time this has been proposed in connection with a device that would
send real-time audio streams to and from the line).

3) The idea of using authentication with such a system, so that
whenever a command is sent that would take the phone line off hook,
the command string would include a password or other mechanism that
would be verified by the server to insure that the user actually has
authority to remotely control the line.

4) And just to cover all the bases, I'll also suggest that an
adapation of this idea would allow someone to call into the Internet
using a server, have the call transported some distance over the
Internet as digital audio streams, and then sent back out into the
public switched telephone system at a distant point. I'm not
suggesting this would work well, would be legal, or should be done,
but I want to go on record as saying it would be possible with the
right hardware and software.

Note that although I make reference to the Internet at several points
above, this technology could work in a similar manner on a private or
corporate network.

One final comment: It would be nice if perhaps a later version of this
technology would offer conference call capability (for example, one or
more users on the Internet and one or more "off-net" users connected
via phone lines, all taking turns on a voice conference).

It will be interesting to see how long it will be before someone comes
up with this technology. It's not a question of "if", it's a question
of "when", IMHO. I'd like to see it offered sooner rather than later,
and at a low enough price that companies and individuals can afford

Well, that's my idea, as sent to the TELECOM Digest on September 15,
1995. If anyone's already come up with something like this, I'm not
aware of it, so please let me know. On the other hand, if anyone
decides to proceed with building this technology as a result of this
article, I'd be happy to help beta test the result (from the user
side, of course!) Smile

Jack Decker

[TELECOM Digest Editor's Note: I thought something like this was
already going on. I think I have read about it before on the net.
Am I mistaken? Isn't this already being done in a limited way? PAT]

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Last edited by dconnor on Thu Apr 19, 2007 5:26 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 19, 2007 4:51 pm    Post subject: Solution to vonage patent dispute...... Reply with quote Back to top

I refer to the below link, worth the read.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Actually, yes, you are right. Amateur radio operators have been doing that for years, prior to 1995 even, with autopatches, etc. Granted, depending on your repeater controller, that can be an all analog transfer, but certainly prior to the existance of Verizon, amateurs have been doing A-to-D conversions and linking repeaters via the internet, and that's open source technology and methods. I can't see how Verizon can suddenly make a claim on that simply because they started losing money to Voip services like Vonage.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 20, 2007 5:23 pm    Post subject: It does not matter that Verizon did not invent VOIP! Reply with quote Back to top

Everyone knows that Verizon did not invent Voip, fiber optic technology, or the telephone. They didn't even invent the internet! That is not the point. Vonage had no right to take on a rich and powerful player, same as a poor person has no right to challenge a rich and powerful person. Verizon was amused at first, and they now feel threatened. Verizon will murder Vonage and they will get away with it, same as OJ did! Get over it! Go along to get along! Click on post to read my other smart postings!

Last edited by smart on Wed Apr 25, 2007 5:10 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 6:09 pm    Post subject: Verizon Voice Wing Website is copying Vonage Reply with quote Back to top

Who's copying who??
Verizon Voice Wing Website is infringing on Vonage's Marketing, on which Vonage spent millions of dollars!
Verizon did NOT invent Voip Technology, Vonage made no profiti yet as a company, they implemented the public's technology to the public

Verizon Voice Wing Website is copying Vonage and attempting to steal the marketing!

Also, there are many complaints about verizons voicewing
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2007 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Vonage developed a service using off-the-shelf tecnology.

Verizon didn't even do that - voicewing is just another company and their service that Verizon is re-selling.

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PostPosted: Fri May 04, 2007 11:45 am    Post subject: Re: Solution to vonage patent dispute...... Reply with quote Back to top

jgw2001 wrote:
I refer to the below link, worth the read.

here's my issue with this patent fight in court.

the 3com patent and verizon patent..

which one was filed first, and are they for exactly the same things or different..

if Vonage changed over to the 3com technology then that would solve the problem.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:15 pm    Post subject: Science Fiction as Prior Art Reply with quote Back to top

I knew an Examiner who used to cite science fiction stories as "prior art" to Patent Claims.

The problem is, it ain't art, really.

I can describe a great idea of how something could work in the future, but that is little more than writing SciF, not creating an invention.

In the Patent Business, we have something called "reduction to practice". This CAN be in writing, provided it is in a pending Patent Application. We call that "constructive reduction to practice".

If the fellow who made that newsgroup posting slapped a coversheet on it and filed it as a Provisional Patent Application, well, he might be very wealthy right now - if he could have gotten a Patent on the idea.

The problem is, the claims of the Verizon Patents are undoubtedly narrower than this general overall description of Voip. Thus, the "reference" you cite is not really applicable to a Patent that covers solving some trickly implementation problem.

And those are the best Patents, too. For example, the Wright Brothers did not get a Patent on "an airplane" but rather their lateral control technique known as wing-warping, the grand-daddy of ailerons today. You can't fly an airplane without ailerons (or let's just say you wouldn't want to) so their Patent, although narrow, was still very powerful.

And that was all they could patent, anyway. The idea of the propeller, the wing, the engine, and all the other parts, alone or in combination, were already shown on other Patents or had been tried by others (most notably by the secretary of the Smithsonian, Langley, with his ill-fated steam flyers).

The problem with armchair Patent analysis on the internet is that someone posts a message that Bill Gates has gotten a Patent on the "0" and "1" and people believe it and go beserk with rage. These folks will tell you the sky is falling and everything is coming to an end.

And people believe them, too (and not just about Patents!).

You have to consider the premise, first. Most people sweep by the premise and go onto the conclusion.

If you want to evaluate the Verizon Patents, download them from (after looking up the numbers from the lawsuits in question, which are available online from a variety of sources) and then evaluate the broadest independent CLAIM (you can't infringe the Abstract or the Drawings!). Usually that is claim 1.

After you've done that, download a copy of the file wrapper history from, and after 3 years of law school and maybe 10 years practicing, you can evaluate the file wrapper for "estoppel" issues. What may seem like a broad claim can often be narrowed severely by comments made during prosecution.

Then spend a few thousand dollars and weeks of your life searching the Prior Art. Write up a claim chart comparing the patent to the Prior Art to consider invalidity arguments, under both anticiapation and obviousness, and then write another claim chart to consider infringmenet, both literal, and under the doctrine of equivalents.

Then, go online or on LEXUS/NEXUS and search for relevant case law and apply that to the case. Recent cases, including those from the Supreme Court, have severely narrowed the scope of Patent protection. Then spend a couple of weeks writing up your infringement and validity study, which will be the size of a Manhatten phone directory, and then you might be on to something.

You get the point. The opinions of ill-informed amateurs who have not even read the Patent, understand Patent law, or understand the scope of the art are pretty much irrelevant, and little more than wild speculation. Why waste your time?

If these Patents were invalid, people with more at stake than you or I (i.e., Vonage) would have brought this up at trial.

Some of the brightest patent attorneys in the country could not convince a judge in a court that pretty much specializes in Patent Law that Vonage does not infringe these Patents and/or that they are invalid Patents.

Or manybe Vonage hires stupid attorneys and the judge is a class-1 idiot.

But I doubt that.
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 27, 2007 6:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Verizon Voice Wing Website is copying Vonage Reply with quote Back to top

smart wrote:
Who's copying who??
Verizon Voice Wing Website is infringing on Vonage's Marketing, on which Vonage spent millions of dollars!
Verizon did NOT invent Voip Technology, Vonage made no profiti yet as a company, they implemented the public's technology to the public

Verizon Voice Wing Website is copying Vonage and attempting to steal the marketing!

Also, there are many complaints about verizons voicewing

Alas, you can't infringe marketing. Maybe trade dress or trademarks, but not "marketing".

Vonage has no IP of its own, so others are free to copy the entire concept and not pay Vonage a penny. Are you beginning to see the problem with Vonage? There is no barrier to entry for competitors. So Vonage has to compete on price, service, and advertsing.

So far, the advertising is keeping the customers coming in, but others are undercutting on price. As for service, well, we all have experiences there.

And since Vonage has no IP of its own, it is vulnerable to IP infirngment claims of others. Making the decision NOT to file for Patents was a bad mistake on the part of Vonage. When Vonage was formed, "method of doign business" patents were being granted routinely (harder to do today). Several aspects of Vonage's business model, and undoubedly some technical issues could have been Patented. These could have been used defensively by Vonage to fend off an attack by a telco.

Too bad that didn't happen. And now it is far too late.
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