Verizon sues Charter over VoIP patents

11 February 2007

Verizon has fired off its second patent action at a cable VoIP
provider, this time against Charter Communications in Texas. Verizon is
claiming eight patent breaches, a copycat of its action against Cox
Communications in Virginia. Two of the patents are the same Verizon
successfully sued VoIP pure play Vonage for. Vonage late last year paid
$120 million to Verizon after a court found it had breached Verizon's

Both actions claim damages and demand the cable companies cease using
the VoIP technology. Four of the patents are about the method Cox and
Charter use to connect VoIP calls. All the cable companies use
PacketCable architecture--developed by the industry R&D house Cable
Labs--to deliver their IP communications. If the actions are
successful, it could affect all the cable companies, says Fred Grasso,
a VoIP patent expert with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman. He told Light Reading: "An overarching theme is that it seems Verizon is picking patents that are essential to providing VoIP service."

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