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Rates Technology

Rates Technology Inc.

April 19, 2005

I have been hearing more and more rumblings in the VoIP industry regarding Jerry Weinberger of Rates Technology Inc. (RTI). I don't get too many people coming to me about patent issues so when I heard about this company, I decided to delve into this potential story a bit more. What intrigued me is that apparently RTI has no products... They exist to collect revenue from other companies.

I did some research and found that Rates Technologies has sued Nortel, Sharp Electronics and others.

Rates Technology and Alcatel

August 25, 2005

In my blog entry on Rates Technology Inc I mentioned Alcatel as in default. Specifically:

After it became impossible to get them covered, RTI recently filed suit for willful patent infringement against Centrepoint Technologies, Inc. for much less money than Mitel and Alcatel (they certainly are a smaller company).

Mitel Networks was sued for $945 Million; Alcatel was sued for $1.155 Billion; and their default is pending in USDC EDNY. Hello Direct, GN Netcom and GN had been sued by RTI for patent infringement, and they recently settled with RTI; the terms are being kept confidential

.

Since that time I have learned the court has vacated the default meaning it is now in the hands of California courts since Alcatel sued Rates Technology Inc. first in California.





Blackberry Up To Their Neck

November 30, 2005

Rates Technology Sues Google

December 27, 2005

Many months back I wrote an article on Rates Technology Inc.– A company with a patent portfolio currently being used to persuade VoIP equipment and service vendors to pay a fee in exchange for protection from a patent infringement lawsuit. I wasn’t sure if people would care about my article because there were few references to Rates Technology on the Internet. Since Rates Technology has been around for years I certainly wasn’t discovering them but it does seem I was the first to take the time to explain how the company works.

Fast forward about eight months. Today I received an e-mail from Tom Keating telling me that Om Malik has linked to me in his blog regarding Rates Technology.

I was pretty blown away as I thought I would never hear about this company again.



SEO/SEM Journal Google/RTI Article

December 28, 2005

Rates Technology Inc. (RTI) Articles

December 29, 2005

My blog entry on Rates Technology has been getting a great deal of traction. As you may recall the company is suing Google over the VoIP portion of its Google Talk program. I noticed Playfuls.com a site out of Romania referenced my interview with RTI. CNET had a brief story on the lawsuit where they referenced me and then referenced Google’s response to the lawsuit: "We believe the lawsuit is without merit and we will defend against it vigorously."

The National Business Review also had a great article where they talk about patent trolling, referencing my interview with the company.

RTI Sues Google for 5 Billion

December 29, 2005

RTI Patents

December 30, 2005

Thanks to TechDirt I decided to poke around in the actual RTI Patents that have caused the web outcry since RTI sued Google. Jerry Weinberger the man behind RTI patented least cost routing back in the late 1970s and this is basis along with another patent for the lawsuits against the various companies he sues and collects money from.

Least cost routing was the leading edge of technologies in the early 1980s as competition finally was allowed in the phone business. During those early days the rates for various phone calls to various destinations varied widely and it would make sense to use AT&T for calls to Canada, Sprint for calls to Iowa and MCI for calls to California.

The above is just a hypothetical case of course and it should be noted that rates use to vary by time of day as well. A human could not keep track of who was the best carrier per call but a computer could.

Remember now, these were the dark ages of telecom and technology where a box of index cards was the best contact management system and entry level computer cost hundreds of thousands of dollars!

Here are the abstracts of the two patents:

Patent 1

Least cost routing device for separate connection into phone line

Abstract

A device interconnects within the phone line coming from a first phone and routes telephone calls along a least cost route originating from the first telephone to a second telephone via the network.















NTP Patents Rejected

December 31, 2005

Patent Troll

January 2, 2006

I found a great site that discusses computer and related technology patents. The site is called Peter Zura's Two-Seventy-One Patent Blog. Peter describes 2005 as the year of the patent troll. Here is an excerpt from his post titled 2005: Year Of The Troll:

Alas, there are significant problems that holding companies have brought to the forefront.

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