May 02, 2007

Vonage v. Verizon Patent Case Has a New Wrinkle

If I am reading a story in Washington Post correctly, a recent decision by the Supreme Court in KSR International v. Teleflex could have material influence on the Verizon v. Vonage case. According to Washington Post, “[it] is the court's furthest-reaching ruling in the field for decades. The decision sends a clear message that the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office and lower courts must be more open in considering whether inventions are "obvious," a common ground for denying an application.”

I think it is all the more critical to ask the question whether “conditional analysis” in VoIP is an advance that occurred “in the ordinary course without real innovation” and that it combines “previously known elements”. As Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for a unanimous court, granting patent protection for such an advance “retards progress” may “deprive prior inventions of their value or utility".

Update: Just as I anticipated, Vonage said that "... it was seeking a retrial of a patent infringement case against the company in light of a landmark patent ruling by the Supreme Court on Monday."

Posted by aswath at May 2, 2007 01:16 AM
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