Google Voice Challenged By Patent Suit

Frontier Communications cites "single dial-in number" patent

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Frontier Communications, a communications provider with a market cap of around $2.4 billion, is not happy with Google.  In fact, Frontier is dissatisfied to the point that it sued the search giant this morning, claiming that Google Voice infringes on a patent it holds.

This isn’t a question of whether or not some minor feature bears a faint similarity to a concept Frontier dreamed up.  Frontier is instead going after one of Google Voice’s biggest draws, and the patent it’s put forward isn’t nearly as vague and all-encompassing as some we’ve seen.

Let’s do a little comparing and contrasting.  Google Voice, for its part, encourages users to "[u]se a single number that rings you anywhere."  Frontier, according to Reuters, has a patent on something that would allow subscribers to "be reached on multiple telephone lines from a single dial-in number."

Again, then, this lawsuit isn’t as wild and desperate as many that target Google.

Still, there will no doubt be questions about prior art, and Google has pockets that are perhaps deep enough to fight off any claim.

Also, in what can’t be a good sign for Frontier, some of its shareholders have already decided to turn their backs on the company, sending the stock down 1.27 percent so far today.  Google’s up 1.38 percent by comparison.

Google Voice Challenged By Patent Suit
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  • http://sirdaveoh.bogger.com sidaveoh

    I been useing google voice for about 3 years now and Frontier is now claiming that Google Voice infringes on a patent that Frontier it holds. Come on now why has it taken so long to start something now. You go Google keep up the good work.

    skype me: sirdaveoh

  • Guest

    Why now? The patent was awarded the same day they filed suit against Google. Application was filed September 2009 as a continuation of an applicaiton filed February of 2007. In either case it is long after such a system was already in use by other providers. I think the USPTO blew it on this one.

    But the big quesiton: Why are they picking on only Google? What about RingCentral, Vonage, VOIPo, TollFreeForwarding, and other VOIP providers? They ALL have the one number multi-ring option, and have been offering it for years.

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