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Patent

Did Bell Steal Ideas?

December 26, 2007

If you are interested in historical telephony and whether Alexander Graham Bell actually invented the telephone or “borrowed” some patent ideas, you will want to read this story.

  Excerpt:  
In "The Telephone Gambit: Chasing Alexander Graham Bell's Secret," journalist Seth Shulman argues that Bell -- aided by aggressive lawyers and a corrupt patent examiner -- got an improper peek at patent documents Gray had filed, and that Bell was erroneously credited with filing first.   Shulman believes the smoking gun is Bell's lab notebook, which was restricted by Bell's family until 1976, then digitized and made widely available in 1999.

The notebook details the false starts Bell encountered as he and assistant Thomas Watson tried transmitting sound electromagnetically over a wire. Then, after a 12-day gap in 1876 -- when Bell went to Washington to sort out patent questions about his work -- he suddenly began trying another kind of voice transmitter. That method was the one that proved successful.



NY Times vs. Blogs: A Surprise Winner

December 21, 2007

I find the competition between blogs and news outlets fascinating as here at TMC we have dozens of reporters and a number of bloggers as well. Today I was reading Workbench by Rogers Cadenhead and I learned of the following contest: 
In 2002, blogging evangelist Dave Winer made a long bet with New York Times executive Martin Nisenholtz: "In a Google search of five keywords or phrases representing the top five news stories of 2007, weblogs will rank higher than the New York Times' Web site."
  Since the AP recently released its top stories of 2007 the contest could officially begin.   To avoid suspense – the winner was blogs by a 3-2 margin.   It seems to me that this bet is unfair as the New York Times is but a single news source and blogs of course are everywhere. There are millions of them.   But what is not surprising is the fact that Wikipedia beat both and The New York Times on every story.   It is tough to express dismay over this issue in a more eloquent manner than Cadenhead who said:  
Winer predicted a news environment "changed so thoroughly that informed people will look to amateurs they trust for the information they want." Nisenholtz expected the professional media to remain the authoritative source for "unbiased, accurate, and coherent" information.
Instead, our most trusted source on the biggest news stories of 2007 is a horde of nameless, faceless amateurs who are not required to prove expertise in the subjects they cover.




So there you have it… Wikipedia has become the most highly-ranked site on important news stories – and just about everything else.

Nortel Sues Vonage

December 17, 2007

Vonage just can’t catch a break these days and seems to be the target of more lawsuits related to patent infringements than just about any other company out there. The latest patent fight is with Nortel, a company who says Vonage is infringing on twelve of its patents.   ``Defending our intellectual property rights is a top priority for Nortel,'' said Nortel spokesman Mohammed Nakhooda. ``That's why we are seeking damages and to put an injunction on the use of our technology with respect to Vonage.''   ``The litigation is ongoing and both parties have filed and will continue to file papers,'' said Vonage spokesman Charles Sahner. Nortel's filing ``is a countersuit in defense.''   Generally speaking when a company becomes as high profile as Vonage they also have an arsenal of patents.

iPhone Gets Real Network

November 29, 2007

Many current iPhone users will certainly say it is about time that in 2008, iPhones will run on a proper 3G network allowing true wireless broadband speeds. The reason the device does not currently support 3G is because the battery life of a power-hungry device like an iPhone just wouldn’t be acceptable on a 3G network.

Apparently technology has improved to the point where it is now possible to have the right blend of iPhone size, weight, broadband speed and battery life.

This new device will obviously be a killer as the major problem with the current iPhone is the slow speed of the current AT&T network. This new addition will push many potential “on the fence” customers over to the Apple side.

See Also:   AT&T boss says 3G iPhone in 2008 Apple, AT&T Plan '3G' iPhone for 2008, MarketWatch Reports - AAPL Slips, T Just Firm





Why Verizon Sued Vonage

November 23, 2007

I receive many questions about patents and why one company sues another. Patent portfolios are like nuclear weapons – if you have them, you are less likely to end up in a war. I was reminded of this idea as I read Ike Elliot’s Telecosm blog where he has an entry focusing on why Verizon is picking on smaller companies to sue.   Here is an excerpt:  
How does a patent holder decide who to target? They usually consider the following:
1.

Google Database Patent Lawsuit

November 10, 2007

Apparently today is “Write about Google” day as I thought it worth sharing that the company is facing a patent infringement lawsuit due to the database technology the company employs. Who is suing you wonder? Northeastern University and a start-up company cofounded by an associate professor.   According to an article on boston.com, "This particular patent has to do with the fundamental database architecture, which they use to serve up every single result they serve to you," said Michael Belanger, president of Jarg Corp. in Waltham. Jarg is a privately funded developer of advanced search technology.

Vonage in Settlement Talks with AT&T

November 8, 2007

Quantcast

November 6, 2007

You are likely familiar with Alexa, a division of Amazon that measures website traffic. I have written about the site a number of times before. A while back I discovered a site called Quantcast which is becoming a well respected third-party way to measure web traffic in an accurate manner. Currently Quantcast allows you to see how many unique visitors any site has.

AT&T Sues Vonage

October 20, 2007

Vonage Resellers Concerned

October 9, 2007

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