Making Your Reexamination News, Risky Business?

Making Your Reexamination News, Risky Business?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) Case Study

On January 29, 2010 the USPTO ordered ex parte reexamination of claims 1-6 and 13-18 of C2 Communication Technologies' U.S. Patent 6,243,373 (90/010,716) at the request of the EFF.  On the same day, USPTO ordered a second ex parte reexamination (90/009,637) of claims 1-24 of the '373 patent at the request of PaeTec Holdings Corp.[1] 

The '373 patent is directed to a method and apparatus for implementing a computer network/internet telephone system (VoIP).  The patent has been the subject of litigation since 2006, when C2 filed patent infringement suits against AT&T, Inc. (AT&T), Verizon Communications, Inc. (Verizon), BellSouth Corp., Sprint Nextel Corp. (Sprint) and other telecommunications companies. In 2008, AT&T, Verizon and Sprint agreed to take licenses under the patent to settle their litigation. Qwest Communications International, Inc., Global Crossing, Ltd. and Level 3 Communications, Inc. in September 2008, also agreed to settlements and license agreements.

The factual background of this reexamination, concurrent litigation, and multiple reexamination requests, is quite common.  As such, I was especially shocked to see this fairly common occurrence  Read the rest of this entry »