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Akola
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Posts: 11

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:14 pm    Post subject: Sprint Nextel sues Vonage over VOIP patents Reply with quote Back to top

Sprint Nextel sues Vonage over Voip patents

Tue Oct 4, 2005 05:12 PM ET

By Justin Hyde

WASHINGTON, Oct 4 (Reuters) - Sprint Nextel Corp. said on Tuesday that a subsidiary had filed a patent infringement lawsuit against Vonage Holdings Corp. and another Internet-based calling service.

Sprint Nextel, the third-largest U.S. wireless company, claimed Vonage and Voiceglo Holdings Inc., a unit of theglobe.com Inc. had infringed on seven patents relating to voice over data packet technology developed by Sprint.

The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in Kansas City, Kansas, seeks injunctions against Vonage and Voiceglo as well as unspecified damages.

Vonage, the largest U.S. independent Internet-based telephone service, passed 1 million subscriptions last month and is reportedly preparing for an initial public offering. Voiceglo offers a software-based system that allows voice calls between computers and to regular telephones, similar to Skype.

Vonage, Voiceglo and many other companies offer services using voice over Internet Protocol (VOIP) technology, which transmits phone calls in the same way Web pages and e-mail are sent over the Internet.

"While Sprint prefers to resolves disputes amicably, Sprint will take all necessary steps to protect the creativity and innovation of its employees," the company said in a statement.

Vonage spokeswoman Brooke Schulz said the company had not seen the lawsuit and could not immediately comment.

Voiceglo President Ed Cespedes said he had not seen the lawsuit, and he didn't know why his company or Vonage would be singled out by Sprint Nextel.

"I suppose Sprint's position is they must own Voip and therefore anyone providing it must be violating their patent," he said.



http://yahoo.reuters.com/financeQuoteCompanyNewsArticle.jhtml?duid=mtfh19234_2005-10-04_21-12-42_n04510653_newsml
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mwmcclure
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Joined: Mar 07, 2005
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Uh, are they trying to say the Sprint invented SIP? I have read three articles on this topic now and none of them explain what Sprint is alleging in their complaint.

Vonage doesn't use anything that they invented, do they? From what I have seen, they are pretty much using off-the-shelf technology from Cisco, Linksys (also Cisco) and other hardware providers.

Why just Vonage and VoiceGlo? Does anyone know any useful details on this suit?

- Mark

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galion
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Joined: Aug 11, 2005
Posts: 233
Location: Midwest USA

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 4:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Now that is funny. I shouldn't say this, but Sprint was my local provider in my previous state. Here I had Verizon for local service and Verizon is why I am using Vonage now. In my opinion Sprint wasn't any better than Verizon. If Sprint wants to be the single provider of Voip they better get to work cleaning their own house first. This smells like the big Linux suit that was going around last year. "I am going to sue you because your house looks like my house." I seriously doubt Vonage will be affected other than having to pay some lawyers to work on this suit.

Of course another speculation: Sprint spent a lot of cash buying companies like CenTel so they could get into local service. Is Vonage threatening that investment? Could suing Vonage drive up Voip costs so Sprint can salvage all that copper they bought. Just speculation. Hmmm.

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KDWycha
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Joined: Jan 19, 2005
Posts: 605
Location: Tampa, Florida USA (813)

PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Sprint can go fart peas at the moon.

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Amerist
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 04, 2005 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

Sounds like Sprint is afraid of competition. So they are trying to put the companies that stand in their way either out of business or assimilate them into their company.

You know that saying, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" ?
I think they might be chanting that at the board meetings.

Patents are too often used as a legal form of extortion. I don't approve of this usage of their supposed "patent".
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TommyDale
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 8:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I live in an area served by Sprint local telephone service. Their Voip service is non-existent to homes, and is offered to businesses at extremely high rates, with less than adequate service.

Sprint is preparing to spin off the local telephone business, and according to some CWA advertisements, they are going to transfer 8 billion dollars of debt from the Nextel merger to the local telco, plus take another 7 billion out for the Sprint-Nextel side. The local telco will be a disaster, since their customer service is already a joke. They won't be able to afford to support their services, which are already in the toilet.

The entire reason I switched to Vonage is because Sprint took two days to respond to a cut phone line a few hundred feet away, and lied to customers about the cause and when it would be repaired, after first totally denying there was a problem. I walked up the road and took pictures of the cut. When I reported the outage, I was told I was "the only person who has a problem". When the workers finally showed up, they had over a hundred repair tickets. I suppose all hundred people were "the only one who had a problem"?
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VonageTPA
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 11:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I also have Sprint for a land line at one of my residences as well as for land-line based phone service at a business...and yes, they are terrible. Does anyone know when Vonage will be in the 239 area code? or any Voip provider for that matter? For some reason there aren't many providers who service that area. I'd like to use Vonage there and know at least 10 other people who would use it if they could get a local (239 area code) phone #. I also know about 5 businesses which would love to go that route as well. I'm assuming Sprint has something to do with the lack of Voip providers in the area.

"Local Phone Service" costs me $38.75 per line...and includes only the basic local area. If I call a place that's about 15-20 miles away, I'm paying $0.25 for the 1st minute, $0.10 for each additional minute. I'm still trying to figure out what happened on the one local call where it cost me $0.33/minute to call a place that's approx 1 hr away.

Then to add insult to injury... are the taxes...from my last bill:

September bill:
Monthly Service Charges (includes local toll calls) - $297
Taxes and Surcharges........................................... $126
Total.........................................................................$423

I dunno... I'm not real bright, but 30% of my bill being taxes & surcharges is flat-out painful.

and I too have plenty of outage stories to tell. The most recent one was being totally without phone service (along with ~20,000 other people) for 4 days. Glad I had my Vonage adapter with me.

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galion
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I wondered over to the Sprint website just to see their side of the story. (The site has an interesting Nextel yellow instead of the blood red of Sprint now. They must want a fresh start or something) Anyway, under press releases I found the one talking about patent infringements. I believe it said there are seven patent infringements, but doesn't provide any details. If it is patented, then I would think Sprint should give us a little details. It also says they are filing for an injunction. Now just what do they hope to accomplish. If they are successful (which I seriously doubt) they will likely hack off quite a few people. Vonage has one million customers. Of that one million I will give that 10% might not even care (but I doubt that). So now we have 900,000 people or businesses that could be affected. Of the 900,000 affected people or businesses I would gamble that a fair number may have experienced Sprint local service like me. We are going to have some upset people if they have any affect on us.

What does Sprint want? There is no way I would want anything from them right now after my previous round with them. As someone else said, we all have our war stories. I lost service to all of my DID trunks for several days one time because a Sprint CenTel service technician did not understand DID technology. Since he didn't hear a dial tone on the lines to my PBX he assumed they were unused and gave all my wires to the new business next door, breaking my DID connection to the CO. I happened to be traveling while my company phones were in trouble. I stayed on a cellphone on I-85 (with my wife driving) from Greensboro, NC to Atlanta, GA. I was originally working with their service center in Florida. I crossed a state line, dialed the exact same number and was connected to Denver. They couldn't get me back to the Florida office. Luckily we got it resolved.

I still think they see the future. There is some future to wireless so they got Nextel. I can believe the rumor posted earlier about shedding local service, just look at what happened to AT&T.

But, if I happened to be a Sprint manager I too would consider dropping the local telcos. I would want the local telcos to take all my debt from me. I would then buy heavily into wireless and Voip. The only thing that doesn't make sense is upsetting almost a million potential customers. Rather than sue Vonage I would try to buy them under a subsidiary. Then I would keep the Vonage name, invest in the service, and kill the competition. I will admit Vonage isn't perfect. If they got a cash infusion a lot could be done with their base. That is what scares me. Vonage is very attractive for a company who needs to catch up in the Voip business and has money to burn. Please don't let Verizon or Sprint buy them.

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TommyDale
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

That was no rumor about Sprint shedding the local telco business. It is a fact. The Communications Workers of America is heavily advertising the story, because it will probably cost them jobs.
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HunterMcD
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Joined: Aug 05, 2005
Posts: 114

PostPosted: Wed Oct 05, 2005 2:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote Back to top

I wonder if this is one of the patents
Broadband telecommunications system or maybe System and method for allocating bandwidth for a call

To see all of the patents that sprint nextel has you can search the US Patent office http://patft.uspto.gov/netahtml/search-bool.html

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†AK and HI residents pay $29.95 shipping. ††Limited time offer. Valid for residents of the United States (&DC), 18 years or older, who open new accounts. Offer good while supplies last and only on new account activations. One kit per account/household. Offer cannot be combined with any other discounts, promotions or plans and is not applicable to past purchases. Good while supplies last. Allow up to 2 weeks for shipping. Other restrictions may apply.

1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

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