An anonymous reader writes: The patent at issue in AT&T's new lawsuit against Vonage isn't a VoIP patent at all, according to InfoWeek blogger Alex Wolfe. AT&T Suit Against Vonage Makes Mockery Of U.S. Patent System says that the patent is Patent 6,487,200, awarded to AT&T in 2002. It's for a packetized telephone network, and is accompanied by a diagram of an ATM network. The abstract says that the set-up "makes it possible to build a telephone system with fewer and cheaper switches and fewer links for a given volume of traffic than heretofore possible and also permits substantial savings in provisioning and maintaining the system." If I set up an packet-based extraterrestrial communications network five years from now, should AT&T "own" the rights to it, the blogger asks? By extension (assuming patents didn't expire), should Alexander Graham Bell?
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